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Safety Review into Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)

April 16, 2019 | Treatments

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on the 12th April it is conducting a review into the safety of MS drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada).

The EMA has launched the safety review ‘following new reports of immune-mediated conditions (caused by the body’s defence system not working properly) and problems with the heart and blood vessels with the medicine, including fatal cases.’

Alemtuzumab is not currently registered or available in New Zealand but if you have received the treatment from abroad we recommend contacting your primary health carer to discuss whether you require further assistance.

People currently taking alemtuzumab who do not experience side effects can continue with the treatment. If they experience any of the side effects listed by the EMA (see link above), they should seek immediate medical advice.

Until the review is complete, the EMA has instructed health professionals in Europe to prescribe alemtuzumab for the first time only in cases of highly active MS where other treatment options are unsuitable or have not worked.

References: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the MS International Federation.