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(e'' kue liz' ue mab)Receiving eculizumab injection may increase the risk that you will develop a meningococcal infection (an infection that may affect the covering of the brain and spinal cord and/or may spread through the bloodstream) during your treatment or for some time afterward. Meningococcal infections may cause death in a short period of time. You will need to receive a meningococcal vaccine at least 2 weeks before you begin your treatment with eculizumab injection to decrease the risk that you will develop this type of infection. If you have received this vaccine in the past, you may need to receive a booster dose before you begin your treatment. If your doctor feels that you need to begin treatment with eculizumab injection right away, you will receive your meningococcal vaccine as soon as possible. Even if you receive the meningococcal vaccine, there is still a risk that you may develop meningococcal disease during or after your treatment with eculizumab injection. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help: headache that comes along with nausea or vomiting, fever, a stiff neck, or a stiff back; fever of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher; rash and fever; confusion; muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms; or if your eyes are sensitive to light. Tell your doctor if you have fever or other signs of infection before you begin your treatment with eculizumab injection. Your doctor will not give you eculizumab injection if you already have a meningococcal infection. Your doctor will give you a patient safety card with information about the risk of developing meningococcal disease during or for a period of time after your treatment. Carry this card with you at all times during your treatment and for 3 months after your treatment. Show the card to all healthcare providers who treat you so that they will know about your risk. A program called Soliris REMS has been set up to decrease the risks of receiving eculizumab injection. You can only receive eculizumab injection from a doctor who has enrolled in this program, has talked to you about the risks of meningococcal disease, has given you a patient safety card, and has made sure that you received a meningococcal vaccine. Talk to your doctor about the risks of receiving eculizumab injection.
Before receiving eculizumab injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to eculizumab injection, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in eculizumab injection. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other medical condition(s).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while receiving eculizumab injection, call your doctor.
- if your child will be treated with eculizumab injection, your child should be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) before beginning treatment. Talk to your child's doctor about giving your child these vaccinations and any other vaccinations your child needs.
- if you are being treated for PNH, you should know that your condition may cause too many red blood cells to break down after you stop receiving eculizumab injection. Your doctor will monitor you carefully and may order laboratory tests during the first 8 weeks after you finish your treatment. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: confusion, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or any other unusual symptoms.
- if you are being treated for aHUS, you should know that your condition may cause blood clots to form in your body after you stop receiving eculizumab injection. Your doctor will monitor you carefully and may order laboratory tests during the first 12 weeks after you finish your treatment. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: sudden trouble speaking or understanding speech; confusion; sudden weakness or numbness of an arm or leg (especially on one side of the body) or of the face; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; fainting; seizures; chest pain; difficulty breathing; swelling in the arms or legs; or any other unusual symptoms.
- runny nose
- pain or swelling in the nose or throat
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- excessive tiredness
- muscle or joint pain
- back pain
- pain in the arms or legs
- sores in the mouth
- stomach pain
- painful or difficult urination
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- fast heartbeat
- pale skin
- shortness of breath