This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- It is used to help avoid the need for red blood cell transfusions in people with cold agglutinin disease.
- If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work and other lab tests checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- This drug may raise the risk of infections. Some infections can be life-threatening or deadly if not treated right away. Vaccines can lower the risk of certain infections like meningococcal, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. You will need to get these vaccines at least 2 weeks before starting this drug unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Even if you have had these vaccines before, you may need to get another one. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
- Vaccines lower the risk of infections. However, infections may still happen. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
- Some people have had side effects during the infusion. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects during the infusion.
- Some health problems may happen after this drug is stopped. Call your doctor right away if you feel tired or weak, or if you have bloody or dark urine, a fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Rarely, some allergic reactions have been life-threatening.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) like blood in the urine, burning or pain when passing urine, feeling the need to pass urine often or right away, fever, lower stomach pain, or pelvic pain.
- Signs of a meningococcal infection like very bad headache with or without upset stomach, throwing up, fever, or stiff neck or back; confusion; high fever; fever with a rash; if light bothers the eyes; or very bad muscle aches or pain with or without flu-like signs.
- Signs of an infusion reaction like fast heartbeat, flushing, headache, shortness of breath, or upset stomach.
- Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Flu-like signs.
- Skin irritation.
- Blue or gray skin color.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Signs of a common cold.
- Stomach pain or diarrhea.
- Joint pain.
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
© 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.