Daclizumab (Subcutaneous Route)

Daclizumab is helpful in treating a condition known as multiple sclerosis that causes repeated relapses, and while it is not a cure, it is effective in curtailing the disease.

Overview:

Daclizumab is an effective prescription medication that is used in the treatment and prevention of relapses in adult patients with multiple sclerosis. This medication is typically taken once a month and can be administered by a member of your doctor's staff or you can be trained to administer the shot yourself.

There are no known major drug interactions but this medication should not be taken by patients that suffer from liver damage. It is advised that patients not receive any immunizations while taking daclizumab or for a period of 4 months following their use of the drug. It is also best to avoid any interaction with people who have recently received a live virus vaccination.

Your doctor may want to monitor how your body reacts to the drug through the use of diagnostic tools such as blood tests. They may also want to screen you for the presence of TB prior to beginning your course of treatment.

Anaphylaxis is possible when you are taking this medication and you should be aware of all of the symptoms that may be a sign of this life-threatening and potentially fatal allergic reaction. If you experience any of the signs of the allergic reaction proceed immediately to receive emergency medical attention.

If you are administering the dose of daclizumab yourself be sure to alternate the location of each injection in order to avoid infection or other skin issues.

Currently, there are not any studies indicating that taking daclizumab is dangerous for elderly patients, children, or women who are pregnant or nursing. Be sure to discuss all conditions and concerns with your physician prior to beginning your daclizumab course of treatment.

Condition(s) Treated:

  • Relapse in adult patients with multiple sclerosis

Type of Medicine:

  • Immune Suppressant
  • Monoclonal Antibody

Side Effects:

All medications can cause reactions that are not wanted or pleasant, and with prescription drugs especially, there are some possible side effects that can occur which warrant medical attention. Patients that are taking daclizumab to treat relapse in their multiple sclerosis who experience any of the symptoms listed below must contact their medical team immediately for advice.

More Likely:

  • Bladder pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • A cough or hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble, burning, or painful urination
  • Runny nose
  • Discouragement
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Loss of voice
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever or chills
  • Rash
  • Ear congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Swelling
  • Cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Body aches or pain
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin

Less Likely:

  • Dark urine
  • Vomiting
  • Itching skin
  • Right upper quadrant tenderness
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Red, scaling, or crusted skin
  • Persistent loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain, continuing
  • Light-colored stools
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness

Unlikely:

  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Thoughts or attempts at killing oneself

Unknown Incidence:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Hives or welts
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Fast heartbeat

In addition to the symptoms listed above that require medical attention, there are other side effects that may occur as your body becomes used to the medication. These side effects will likely go away on their own after a few days and do not require further medical attention. However, if the symptoms worsen or linger for an extended period of time, it is best practice to consult with the prescribing physician to ensure that the side effects are not a sign of a more serious problem.

Less Likely:

  • Blemishes on the skin
  • Seizures
  • Pimples

While the above lists contain most all of the side effects that you are likely to experience while taking daclizumab, it is by no means a comprehensive list. If you experience any symptoms that cause you concern or become worse, contact your healthcare provider for further direction.

Dosage:

Depending on your overall health and comfort level, you may be trained to give yourself the daclizumab injection, or a member of your doctor's staff may do so. Injection sites can vary from the upper arm, thigh, or stomach. If you are administering the injection yourself, be sure to follow all of the instructions very closely and notify your doctor if you experience any issues or have any questions.

The area where you make the injection should vary with each dosage to minimize the risk of infection or other skin issues. Make a note of each injection location in order to alternate shot locations each time.

Daclizumab will be given to you in a pre-filled syringe that can only be used one time. If you do not use the entire amount of medicine that is contained in the syringe, do not save it or re-use the syringe under any circumstances. Look at each syringe prior to administering the dosage and discard if you see any floating particles or if the medication has changed color. When in doubt, consult with your pharmacist or prescribing physician for direction.

While there are typical dosage guidelines for the administration of daclizumab, be sure to always follow the instructions provided by your doctor and do not alter the amount of medication that you are taking without first consulting with your doctor.

Your dosage may differ based on the severity of your condition and overall health; be sure to take the medication as directed and as often as directed. Children who are prescribed daclizumab should follow the dosage information that is provided by their doctor or pediatrician.

The typical dosage for adults is an injection administered one time each month containing 150mg. If you are injecting yourself be sure to follow all instructions that are provided by your doctor.

Major Drug Interactions:

While there are no known negative interactions with major prescription drugs, it is considered best practice to always inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking and for what condition. This includes both prescription and non-prescription strength medications as well as any herbal remedies that you may use, along with all vitamin and mineral supplements.

Even though there are no major drug interactions reported with daclizumab, there are several medical conditions that can worsen if you are treated with the medication. If you are suffering from any of the following your doctor will likely find another medication for the treatment of multiple sclerosis relapses:

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Tuberculosis Infection
  • Liver disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Mental health problems
  • Eczema
  • Depression

Warnings:

Due to the potential side effects that are associated with daclizumab your physician may order regular diagnostic tools, such as blood tests, to ensure that the drug is working properly and there are no negative side effects occurring.

It is important that you confer with your physician if you experience any pain in the upper abdomen area, or have any issues with dark urine or pale stools. Additionally, a decrease in appetite or any nausea or vomiting should be reported to your doctor. If you notice a yellow tint to your skin, it could be a side effect of a potential, and very serious, liver issue and your doctor should be notified immediately.

Any conditions that are related to your immune systems, such as lymphadenopathy, colitis, or any skin conditions, can be experienced when you are taking daclizumab and should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. Alert your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach pain
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Rash or other irritations or swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit, the neck, and groin areas

It is important to be aware of the possibility of anaphylaxis occurring while you are taking this medication. This is a potentially life-threatening or even fatal reaction, and you must receive emergency medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, or extremities
  • Itching
  • Rash

Other side effects that should be reported to your doctor include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Hoarseness or a cough
  • Pain in your side or lower back
  • Trouble or pain while urinating

Prior to beginning your daclizumab course of treatment, your physician may order a TB test. Alert your doctor to any instances of you experiencing tuberculosis or if anyone in your family or in your household has suffered from or been exposed to this condition.

Do not receive any vaccinations while you are taking daclizumab or for a period of 4 months after you have finished your course as it may not be as effective. Your body may also be in a weakened state and will be more susceptible to succumbing to the infection that the vaccine is trying to prevent. Do not expose yourself to anyone who has recently received a vaccination that contains a live virus antibody. Such immunizations as the following should be avoided:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Influenza
  • Poliovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella

Daclizumab has been reported to cause anxiety, suicidal thoughts, suicidal tendencies, and depression in some patients. If you experience any abnormal behaviors while taking this medication be sure to alert your physician as soon as possible.

Storage:

It is always best to store medications in their original packaging. This injectable should be kept in the refrigerator, but can also be stored at room temperature for a period up to one month, or 30 days. One it has been refrigerated, you must keep it chilled until use. If you have the medication stored at room temperature for a period longer than one month you will need to throw it out on day 31. Do not heat or freeze this medication.

If at the end of your course of treatment you have unused medication on hand, be sure to contact your prescribing physician or pharmacist about the proper way to dispose of the pre-filled syringes. Be sure to properly dispose of this equipment in order to avoid puncture wounds. Do not, under any circumstances, reuse any needles or syringes.

Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Summary:

Daclizumab is an effective prescription medication that is used in the treatment and prevention of relapses in adult patients with multiple sclerosis. This medication is typically taken once a month and can be administered by a member of your doctor's staff or you can be trained to administer the shot yourself.

There are no known major drug interactions but this medication should not be taken by patients that suffer from liver damage. It is advised that patients not receive any immunizations while taking daclizumab or for a period of 4 months following their use of the drug. It is also best to avoid any interaction with people who have recently received a live virus vaccination.

Your doctor may want to monitor how your body reacts to the drug through the use of diagnostic tools such as blood tests. They may also want to screen you for the presence of TB prior to beginning your course of treatment.

Anaphylaxis is possible when you are taking this medication and you should be aware of all of the symptoms that may be a sign of this life-threatening and potentially fatal allergic reaction. If you experience any of the signs of the allergic reaction proceed immediately to receive emergency medical attention.

Stay in close contact with your physician while you are taking daclizumab and be sure to inform them of any changes to your overall health and wellness or if you change the manner in which you take any medications, or if you begin using a new medication. This includes both prescription and non-prescription strength drugs as well as any over the counter medications that you are taking. Your prescribing physician should also be aware of any herbal remedies that you use as well as all vitamin and mineral supplements that you take.