Brand name: Campath®
Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody directed against CD52, an antigen (or surface marker) found on both B and T lymphocytes. The drug is used most often to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia and has been used in the treatment of advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Alemtuzumab is given intravenously (in the vein) in a personalized treatment schedule for each patient.
During the administration of alemtuzumab, allergic reactions (fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, lowered blood pressure) may occur. Before the treatment, diphenhydramine (benedryl‚) and acetominophen (tylenol‚) may be given to reduce these side effects. Later, after the medication is given, blood counts (white and/or red blood cells, and/or platelets) may be temporarily decreased. The use of alemtuzumab is associated with a decreased resistance of infection. Your doctor may prescribe anti-viral and anti-pneumocystis pneumonia drugs to you which will continue for two months after you no longer are receiving alemtuzumab. Rarely, rash, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, hives, headache, itching, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dizziness, and sweating have been experienced by patients receiving alemtuzumab.
Special Points About Alemtuzumb
Report any temperature above 100.4 (38°), cough or sore throat even without an elevated temperature, or any wound which does not appear to heal or appears infected immediately to your doctor or nurse.