Kevzara (Generic Sarilumab Injection)
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While Kevzara (sarilumab) can be beneficial for many individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with its use. Here is a brief summary of some of the risks and side effects associated with Kevzara:
- Infections: Kevzara can suppress the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections. Serious infections, including bacterial, viral, fungal, or opportunistic infections, have been reported. Before starting Kevzara, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider about any current infections or a history of recurring infections.
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Kevzara, such as rash, itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If any signs of an allergic reaction occur, immediate medical attention should be sought.
- Injection site reactions: Kevzara is administered via injection, and injection site reactions, such as redness, swelling, itching, or pain, may occur. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience persistent or severe injection site reactions.
- Gastrointestinal perforations: Rare cases of gastrointestinal perforations have been reported with Kevzara use. Symptoms may include severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever. Seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Increased liver enzyme levels: Kevzara can cause elevated liver enzyme levels, which may indicate liver inflammation or damage. Regular monitoring of liver function is typically recommended during Kevzara treatment.
- Neutropenia: Kevzara may cause a decrease in neutrophil count, a type of white blood cell that helps fight infections. Regular blood tests are usually performed to monitor neutrophil levels.
- Other side effects: Common side effects of Kevzara include upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, headache, and increased cholesterol levels.
It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of risks or side effects associated with Kevzara. Every individual’s response to medication can vary, and it’s crucial to discuss any concerns or potential risks with your healthcare provider before starting Kevzara or any other medication.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Kevzara (generic name: sarilumab) is a medication that is prescribed to treat certain autoimmune conditions, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. It occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, leading to joint damage and disability.
Kevzara belongs to a class of medications known as interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the activity of interleukin-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the immune response. By inhibiting the effects of IL-6, Kevzara helps reduce inflammation and alleviate the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Kevzara is typically prescribed for adults who have not responded well to conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or other anti-rheumatic medications. It is often used in combination with other DMARDs or as a monotherapy, depending on the individual’s specific condition and treatment goals.
How should this medicine be used?
Kevzara (sarilumab) is a medication used to treat certain autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, as an AI language model, I must clarify that I can provide general information, but it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional or refer to the specific prescribing information for accurate and personalized instructions on medication use.
That being said, I can provide some general guidelines on the use of Kevzara:
- Administration: Kevzara is usually administered as an injection. It comes in a pre-filled syringe or a pre-filled pen, and the injection is typically given subcutaneously (under the skin). The specific dosing and administration instructions should be provided by a healthcare professional.
- Dosing: The appropriate dosage of Kevzara can vary depending on the condition being treated, the patient’s weight, and other factors. Typically, the initial recommended dose is 200 mg injected once every two weeks. The dosage may be adjusted by a healthcare professional based on the individual’s response to treatment.
- Injection Technique: Kevzara injections should be given as instructed by a healthcare professional. It is important to follow proper injection techniques to ensure accurate dosage and minimize the risk of infection. Your healthcare provider can demonstrate the correct technique and provide guidance on self-injection, if applicable.
- Monitoring: Regular monitoring may be necessary during Kevzara treatment. This can include laboratory tests to check for any potential side effects or changes in health. It’s important to attend follow-up appointments and communicate any concerns or changes in your condition to your healthcare provider.
- Storage: Kevzara should be stored in the refrigerator between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). Do not freeze the medication. If needed, it can be stored at room temperature (up to 25°C or 77°F) for a maximum of 30 days. After removing it from the refrigerator, it should not be returned.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional or refer to the prescribing information provided with the medication for precise instructions on the use of Kevzara.
Other uses for this medicine
Kevzara (sarilumab) is primarily approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. However, it’s important to note that medications can sometimes be prescribed “off-label” for other conditions, meaning for uses not specifically approved by regulatory authorities. The off-label use of Kevzara may vary depending on the prescribing physician’s judgment and the individual patient’s needs. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for information on specific off-label uses.
What special precautions should I follow?
As for special precautions associated with Kevzara, here are some important points to consider:
- Infections: Kevzara can increase the risk of infections. Before starting treatment, inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of recurrent infections, currently have an active infection, or if you have recently received a vaccine.
- Tuberculosis (TB): Kevzara can reactivate latent TB infections. It’s essential to be screened for TB before starting Kevzara, and if necessary, receive appropriate treatment.
- Immunizations: Live vaccines should be avoided while on Kevzara due to the potential risk of infection. Before starting Kevzara, discuss with your healthcare provider which vaccines are appropriate for you.
- Allergic reactions: Individuals with known hypersensitivity to sarilumab or any of its components should not take Kevzara. Allergic reactions can occur, and immediate medical attention should be sought if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.
- Pre-existing conditions: Inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions you have, such as liver disease, kidney disease, diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Kevzara during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not well-established. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- Interactions with other medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, that you are taking. Some medications may interact with Kevzara, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.
These are general precautions, and individual circumstances may vary. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider for specific guidance and recommendations based on your medical history and current health status.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
There are no specific dietary instructions associated with taking Kevzara (sarilumab). However, it’s generally recommended to follow a balanced and healthy diet as part of overall good health management. Eating a well-rounded diet with a variety of nutrients can support your overall well-being, including managing your condition.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Regarding a missed dose of Kevzara, the appropriate action depends on the specific dosing instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you forget to take a scheduled dose, it is important to contact your healthcare provider or healthcare team for guidance. They can provide specific instructions on what to do in case of a missed dose based on your treatment plan.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Kevzara (sarilumab) can potentially cause various side effects. Not all individuals will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary. It’s important to discuss any concerns or observed side effects with your healthcare provider. Some of the possible side effects of Kevzara include:
- Infections: Kevzara can increase the risk of infections. Common infections reported include upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, and urinary tract infections.
- Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Kevzara. Signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or dizziness.
- Injection site reactions: Kevzara is administered via injection, and injection site reactions may occur. These can include redness, swelling, itching, pain, or bruising at the injection site.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Kevzara may cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or vomiting.
- Laboratory abnormalities: Kevzara can affect certain laboratory values. It may cause an increase in liver enzymes, which can indicate liver inflammation or damage. It can also lower neutrophil counts, a type of white blood cell.
- Increased cholesterol levels: Some individuals may experience an increase in cholesterol levels while taking Kevzara.
- Headache: Headaches have been reported as a common side effect of Kevzara.
These are not all the possible side effects of Kevzara. Other side effects may occur. It’s important to promptly report any side effects or concerns to your healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
- Kevzara should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).
- Do not freeze Kevzara. If the medication accidentally freezes, do not use it and consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for further guidance.
- Keep Kevzara in its original packaging until it’s ready for use to protect it from light.
- Unused or expired Kevzara should be disposed of properly according to local regulations. Consult your healthcare provider, pharmacist, or local waste disposal authorities for specific instructions on how to dispose of the medication safely.
- Do not dispose of Kevzara in household trash or flush it down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.
In case of emergency/overdose
If you believe you have taken too much Kevzara or if you experience severe or life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, severe allergic reactions, or any other emergency situation, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical assistance. Contact your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.
What other information should I know?
- Regular monitoring: Your healthcare provider will likely monitor your condition and response to Kevzara through regular check-ups, blood tests, and imaging studies as needed. Attend these appointments as scheduled.
- Medication interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, that you are taking. Some medications can interact with Kevzara, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the potential risks and benefits of Kevzara with your healthcare provider. The use of Kevzara during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well-established, and a thorough evaluation of the potential benefits and risks is necessary.
Remember, the information provided here is not exhaustive, and it’s essential to follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider or the medication’s packaging. They can offer detailed guidance on storage, disposal, emergency procedures, and any other relevant information specific to your situation.