Treats Crohn's disease (CD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) that has relapsed. This medicine is only used when other medicines do not work.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to natalizumab. Do not use this medicine if you have or have had a brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- This medicine is injected slowly, and the needle will need to remain in place for about an hour. The medicine is usually given once every 4 weeks.
- Your caregivers will observe you while you are receiving this medicine and for one hour afterward. This is to make sure you do not have any serious side effects from the medicine.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using azathioprine (Imuran®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), interferon beta-1a (Avonex®, Rebif®), 6-mercaptopurine (Purinethol®), or methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a fever or any kind of infection. Tell your doctor if you have a condition that may weaken your immune system, such as HIV or AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, or an organ transplant. Tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking that may weaken the immune system, such as cancer or steroid drugs.
- This medicine may increase your risk of developing infections, including a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Talk about this risk with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if your symptoms start to get worse. Also tell your doctor if you start to have headaches, memory problems, trouble seeing or talking, or new muscle problems, such as weakness or clumsiness.
- This medicine is only given to patients who are enrolled in the TOUCH? Prescribing Program. Tell your doctor if you are not part of this program.
- Your doctor may need to check your brain before you start using this medicine. To do this, you may need to have a test known as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- Tell your doctor right away if you start having dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
- This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash; hives; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you get the injection.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Burning pain on urination, or change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Headache, dizziness, or drowsiness.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Pain, itching, burning, swelling, bleeding, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed.
- Rapid weight gain.
- Skin rash or itching.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Trouble breathing.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Anxiety or depression.
- Arm or leg pain.
- Back pain.
- Changes in weight.
- Changes in your menstrual period.
- Constipation, diarrhea, passing gas, or upset stomach.
- Joint pain or swelling.
- Muscle cramps or aches.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.