Alefacept injection will no longer be available in the U.S. after November 2011. If you are currently receiving alefacept injection, you should talk to your doctor to discuss switching to another treatment.
Alefacept is used to treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis (a skin disease in which red, scaly patches form on some areas of the body). Alefacept is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by stopping the action of certain cells in the body that cause the symptoms of psoriasis.
Alefacept comes as a solution to inject into a muscle or intravenously (into a vein). It is usually injected in a doctor's office once a week for 12 weeks. Sometimes a second 12-week cycle is given, but it is always separated from the first cycle by a period of at least 12 weeks without the medication.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
If you miss an appointment to receive an alefacept injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding in the place where alefacept was injected
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
difficulty breathing or swallowing
fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
changes in skin such as new or changed sores, spots, lumps or moles
lumps or masses in any part of the body
loss of appetite
yellowing of the skin or eyes
Alefacept may increase the risk that you will develop cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
Alefacept may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Your doctor will store the medication in his office and give it to you each week.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before and during treatment to check your body's response to alefacept.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 10/19/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.