How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Anifrolumab belongs to the class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. More specifically, it is a Type I Interferon antagonist. It is used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus) that is not well controlled with standard treatments for lupus.

Lupus is a disease where your body's immune system attacks your own tissues. This causes inflammation and can cause damage to any organ in the body, including the brain, kidneys, skin, and joints. Anifrolumab works by blocking the action of Type I Interferons (IFN). Interferons are proteins that trigger the body's immune system to activate and cause the symptoms of lupus. Blocking the action of IFN, helps reduce inflammation and decrease the signs and symptoms of lupus.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The usual dose of anifrolumab is 300 mg given once every 4 weeks.

Anifrolumab is injected intravenously (into a vein) by a health care professional, usually in a clinical setting such as a hospital clinic, over a 30-minute period every 4 weeks. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive anifrolumab, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Store this medication in the refrigerator, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of sterile, preservative-free liquid contains 150 mg of anifrolumab. Nonmedicinal ingredients: L-histidine, L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, L-lysine hydrochloride Polysorbate 80, trehalose dihydrate, and water for injection.

How should I use this medication?

The usual dose of anifrolumab is 300 mg given once every 4 weeks.

Anifrolumab is injected intravenously (into a vein) by a health care professional, usually in a clinical setting such as a hospital clinic, over a 30-minute period every 4 weeks. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive anifrolumab, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

Store this medication in the refrigerator, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to anifrolumab or any ingredients of the medication.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • arm or leg swelling
  • fatigue
  • joint, arm, or leg pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • weakness

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • anxiety
  • chest pain
  • mood or behaviour changes
  • new or worsening signs of depression (e.g., poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, thoughts of suicide)
  • signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
  • symptoms of shingles (e.g., painful blisters, rash on a small area of skin on one side of the face or body)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Infection: This medication can increase the risk of developing infections, in particular respiratory tract infections and shingles (herpes zoster). If you notice signs of an infection such as fever, chills, pain, swelling, coughing, or pus, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Infusion-related reaction: Some people experience uncomfortable symptoms when receiving this medication. Headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dizziness are not unusual while anifrolumab is being given. If you experience any of these symptoms, let your doctor or nurse know as soon as possible. The rate at which the medication is entering your body can be reduced, which often helps reduce these symptoms.

Vaccines: Live vaccines (e.g., yellow fever, BCG, cholera, typhoid, varicella) should not be given when you are using anifrolumab. Talk to your doctor about ensuring your vaccinations are up to date before starting to use anifrolumab.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if anifrolumab passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between anifrolumab and any of the following:

  • BCG
  • cladribine
  • denosumab
  • echinacea
  • immune suppressing medications (e.g., abatacept, anakinra, adalimumab, baricitinib, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, leflunomide, ocrelizumab,  pimecrolimus, tocilizumab, ustekinumab)
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators (e.g., fingolimod, ponesimod, siponimod)
  • tacrolimus
  • vaccines

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over the counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Saphnelo