Clinical EffectsIn a clinical study, alemtuzumab was shown to extend the period of time leukemia does not progress, more so than chlorambucil (Leukeran®), another leukemia medicine. In the study, people who received alemtuzumab went about 14.6 months without their leukemia getting worse, compared with 11.7 months in people taking chlorambucil.
In addition, 83 percent of those given alemtuzumab were said to have responded to treatment (had a decrease in signs of leukemia), compared to 55 percent of people given the other medicine. For some people (24 percent), the signs of leukemia completely disappeared.
When and How to Use AlemtuzumabSome general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with alemtuzumab include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a liquid that is given as a slow injection into a vein (called an intravenous or IV infusion).
- The injection will be given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, such as a doctor's office or clinic. It will take at least two hours for you to receive your dose.
- You will be given medication by mouth about 30 minutes before your alemtuzumab dose to help reduce the chance that you will have side effects during the infusion.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Be sure to keep all your appointments to receive alemtuzumab.
Dosing InformationThe dose of alemtuzumab your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on how well you tolerate the medication. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Alemtuzumab Dosage for more information.)