Efalizumab is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This is a type of medication called a monoclonal antibody. Efalizumab suppresses the part of the immune system and modifying the process of inflammation. This is a man-made form of protein similar to human antibodies. It is made to target and destroy certain cells in the body. Therefore, it may help to protect healthy cells from damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. Efalizumab is supplied as a sterile and white to off white lyophilized powder in single-use glass vials for subcutaneous injection.  

Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that frequently comes and goes. The main goal of the treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Most types of this disease go through cycles, flaring a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time. The signs and symptoms of this are different for everyone. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Small scaling spots
  • Red patches of skin covered with thick and silveryscales
  • Burning, itching, or soreness
  • Dry and cracked skin that may bleed
  • Swollen and stiff joints
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails

This type of condition often develops between the ages of 15 to 35 but it can develop at any age. Psoriasis is not contagious and something you can catch or others can catch from you. This disease is not infectious.

Howdoes Efalizumab work?

Efalizumabis a suppressing part of the immune system and modifying the process of inflammation.Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured antibodies that are specifically designedto recognize and bind to unique proteins in the body. This medication works by bindingto a specific protein on the surface of Tlymphocyte cells known as lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1). Bybinding to the proteins, this drug prevents a cascade of immunologic reactions.That it may lead to inflammatory responses in the dermis and epidermis layersof the skin. In plaque psoriasis, Efalizumab decreases the skin inflammationand thickened scaly plaques of skin.

The effect of this medication mayreach after 1 to 2 days after subcutaneous administration.

Howto use Efalizumab?

Efalizumab is given by subcutaneousinjection. This is only to be injected once a week or as directed by your doctor.Do not mix the medicine ahead of time for later use. Use this medicine rightaway or within 8 hours after you mix it. Mix the medicine as instructed by yourdoctor. Before using this product, check it visually for particles ordiscoloration. Do not use the medicine if either is present. The recommended dosageis based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.  

Clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol before injecting each dose. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. The injection site should be rotated each time you inject a dose. To get the most benefit from it, use the medication regularly. Remember to use the prescription at the same time each day. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and follow your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Consult your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

Whatare the side effects of Efalizumab?

Common side effects:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling in your hands or feet

Tell your doctor right away ifyou have these serious side effects:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Flu symptoms
  • Tenderness
  • Skin redness
  • Signs of infection

If you these signs of an allergicreaction, call for medical emergency help right away:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Hives or itching
  • Swelling of your lips, face, throat, or tongue

Warningsand Precautions

  • If your weight changes, contact your doctor immediately.Your dose may need to be adjusted.
  • Before you receive any medical or dental procedures,let your doctor know that you are taking Efalizumab.
  • This drug may decrease the number of clot-formingcells in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause injury or bruising. Informyour doctor if you have tarried, dark, or bloody stools.
  • Efalizumab may lower the ability of your body tofight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Callyour doctor if you have signs of infection such as sore throat, fever, orchills.
  • While you are having this treatment, do not receiveany immunization or vaccinations without the permission of your doctor.
  • Do not share this with others even if they have thesame symptom as yours.
  • This is not recommended for use in children and adolescentsunder 18 years of age. The effectiveness and safety have not yet beenconfirmed.
  • If you become pregnant while you are taking Efalizumabor within 6 weeks after you stop taking this drug, call your doctor right away.You may need to discuss the benefits and risks of using this drug while you arepregnant.
  • Do not breastfeed while taking this medication.
  • Before using this, tell your doctor if you everhad an allergic reaction to this drug. This may have an inactive ingredient thatcauses an allergic reaction.
  • If there happened to be any signs of an overdose,call for medical help immediately.
  • Keep this at room temperature far from heat,moisture, and reach of children.

Use this with caution in peoplewith:

  • Low numbers of blood cells called platelets in theirblood
  • A history of recurrent infections
  • Decreased liver function  
  • Decreased kidney function  

This should not be used in peoplewith:

  • A history of malignant conditions
  • Active tuberculosis
  • Severe infections
  • Underactive immune system