Pegloticase (Intravenous)

The enzyme intravenous pegloticase treats patients who are suffering from gout by reducing the amount of uric acid in their systems.

Overview

Intravenous pegloticase is used to treat adults who are suffering from chronic gout. Only given when other medications designed to treat the gout have failed to work, intravenous pegloticase comes in an injection format and is usually delivered directly by a physician. The medication works by converting the high amounts of uric acid into a simple chemical which can be passed out of your body by urinating.

It is important to remember that intravenous pegloticase will not stop a flare of gout that is already underway and is instead designed to cut down on the risk of gout-related problems in the future.

This medication should only be taken under the supervision of a physician or other healthcare professional. It is only available in solution format. It is sold under the brand name Krystexxa in the US.

Conditions Treated

  • Gout

Type Of Medicine

  • Enzyme

Side Effects

As with many medications, there is a risk associated with taking intravenous pegloticase. You may experience unwanted symptoms as the medication gets to work inside your body, and these are known as side effects.

The potential side effects of taking intravenous pegloticase can largely be split into two categories.

  • The first category includes those which require you to check in with a physician right away if you experience any of them. Some symptoms in this category which have been found through research to be more common side effects of taking intravenous pegloticase include chest related problems such as difficulty breathing as normal, a cough, a quicker than normal heartbeat, problems when trying to swallow or general discomfort or pain in the chest region.

Other potential side effects in this category include experiencing dizzy spells, swelling of the face, lips or eyes, stomach problems, such as nausea, or headache. In addition, an unusual feeling of warmth on your skin or a general sense of tiredness are also considered serious side effects.

Some serious side effects which are classified as rare but which still require you to seek medical attention include feelings of extreme fatigue, producing less urine than normal, weight gain, dilation in the veins around the neck region, irregular breathing levels, and more.

  • Some possible side effects of taking intravenous pegloticase do not ordinarily require you to seek medical attention. For the side effects in this category, you will usually only need to consult a physician or other healthcare professional if these side effects do not go away or if they are causing you lots of problems.

Symptoms in this category which have been found to be more common include constipation, bruising, soreness in the throat, aching muscles and more. One symptom which was found to be less common was vomiting.

Remember, not all patients experience the same side effects of taking intravenous pegloticase, so you should not expect to have or not have any of the problems listed here.

In addition, it is important to remember that this is not necessarily an exhaustive list of possible side effects, and as a result you should consult your physician if you have any concerns. In the event that you are worried about the impact that the side effects of intravenous pegloticase may have on you while you are taking the medication, you should consult a healthcare professional and request that they provide you with some tips to help you manage any problems as your treatment runs its course.

Dosage:

Your physician is ultimately responsible for prescribing you the correct dosage, so you should always follow their instructions when taking this medication.

However, some standard dosage information has been published as an information guide only.

Usually, this medication will be given by a healthcare professional under the supervision of a doctor. It is usually delivered in a medical setting such as a clinic.

The injection needle will be placed into a vein on your body. Because the medication is pumped into your body slowly, the needle is likely to remain in place for a long time. This could be around two hours, but the time period may be shorter or longer depending on your medical circumstances.

In order to prevent you from experiencing an allergic reaction, you may be given extra medication such as corticosteroids or antihistamines.

Ordinarily, this medication will be delivered once every two weeks. In the event that you forget to have it, you should speak to your physician.

Because of the high amount of time spent receiving an injection, you may be concerned or nervous about the process of taking your intravenous pegloticase. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your physician or other healthcare professional so that you are fully informed about how the process will work.

Interactions

As with many medications, intravenous pegloticase can interact with many other drugs once inside your system. For that reason, you should always make your physician aware of any other medications - including both prescription and over the counter - that you are currently taking, as they may wish to alter your current balance of medications to prevent problems.

Medications which can interact with this drug include allopurinol, which is known as Zyloprim, and febuxostat, which is known as Uloric.

This list is not exhaustive, and as a result you should make sure that your physician has a full breakdown of your current medication.

Warnings

As is common for medications of this nature, intravenous pegloticase comes with a number of warnings.

While you are taking this medication, your doctor should keep a close eye on how it is affecting you and whether it is working as it is supposed to. Make sure you report any problems to your physician in order to help them do this effectively.

There is a risk of anaphylaxis when taking this medication. A shock of this nature requires immediate medical attention as there is a possibility that it will be life-threatening. Symptoms such as hives, itching, facial swelling and more all indicate that this may be happening. If it does, you should treat it as a medical emergency and get medical help as soon as you possibly can.

Those who are of certain ancestries may be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects. These include South Asian, African or Mediterranean people. Your physician should carry out a particularly deep evaluation of your case before proceeding.

It is possible that you will experience gout flares within three months of taking this medication. You should not stop taking it if you do.

Even if you do not believe that any of the warnings apply to you, you should still read them in full so that you are fully aware and do not miss any which are relevant.

This medication usually comes with an information booklet. You should retain this guide for the entire duration of your treatment as you may need to refer back to it in the future.

Storage

Because this medication will be administered in a clinical setting by a healthcare professional, you will not usually be required to store it yourself.

This, and other practical aspects of looking after your intravenous pegloticase, will be handled by trained professionals. If you have any questions or concerns about the storage and handling of the drug, you should speak to your healthcare professionals.

Summary

As an enzyme designed to reduce the amount of uric acid in the systems of patients suffering from gout, intravenous pegloticase can be a real help to those who have the illness. It is only given in the event that previous medications have failed to work, and it is administered in a clinical setting like a hospital.

There are some side effects possible when taking this drug, and it is wise to be aware of them before you receive your first injection just in case you experience them yourself. Many of these, such as a quick heartbeat or dizzy spells, require you to consult your physician as soon as possible. Some of these, such as a sore throat or constipation, do not require any medical attention unless they are causing you significant problems or do not go away.

Your physician will decide on your precise dosage, although it is common for this medicine to be injected for around two hours once every two weeks.

There are several warnings associated with this medication. You should be on the lookout for symptoms of anaphylactic shock, while members of certain ethnic groups may find they are at higher risk of developing side effects.

Because this medication is given in a location other than your own home, trained staff will take care of storage and handling.