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All about: Daclizumab

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Zenapax

Another commonly used name is dacliximab .

Category

  • Immunosuppressant
  • monoclonal antibody

Description

Daclizumab (da-KLIZ-yoo-mab) belongs to a group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. It is used to lower the body's natural immunity in patients who receive kidney transplants.

When a patient receives a kidney transplant, the body's white blood cells will try to get rid of (reject) the transplanted kidney. Daclizumab works by preventing the white blood cells from getting rid of the transplanted kidney. The effect of daclizumab on the white blood cells may also reduce the body's ability to fight infections.

Daclizumab is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of receiving the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For daclizumab, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to daclizumab. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances.

Pregnancy—Daclizumab crosses the placenta. However, daclizumab has not been studied in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—It is not known if daclizumab passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended for patients receiving daclizumab.

Children—Studies on the use of daclizumab in children have not been completed. However, daclizumab may cause high blood pressure and dehydration more often in children than it does in adults.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of daclizumab in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of daclizumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Cancer—Daclizumab may make this condition worse
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)—Daclizumab can increase the amount of sugar in the blood
  • Infection—Daclizumab may decrease the body's ability to fight infection

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of daclizumab will be different for different patients. Your doctor will decide what dose should be used for you based on your body weight. The following information includes only the average doses of daclizumab.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • To prevent kidney transplant rejection:
      • Adults or children—1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) (0.45 mg per pound) of body weight.

Precautions While Receiving This Medicine

If you are continuing your course of therapy with daclizumab after you are discharged from the hospital, it is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. Your doctor will want to do laboratory tests to make sure daclizumab is working properly.

Dental—It is important to maintain good dental hygiene and see a dentist regularly for teeth cleaning.

If you are a woman of childbearing age, you should use effective contraception while receiving this medicine.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Chest pain; coughing; dizziness; fever; nausea; rapid heart rate; red, tender, oozing skin at incision; shortness of breath; swelling of the feet or lower legs; trembling or shaking of the hands or feet; vomiting; weakness

Rare

Frequent urination

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

Less common

Constipation; diarrhea; headache; heartburn; joint pain; muscle pain; slow wound healing; trouble in sleeping

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 04/03/1998

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