Sarilumab Injection

Sarilumab injection may decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the risk that you will get a serious infection, including severe fungal, bacterial, or viral infections that spread throughout the body. These infections may need to be treated in a hospital and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you often get any type of infection or if you think you may have any type of infection now. This includes minor infections (such as open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (such as cold sores), and chronic infections that do not go away. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or any other condition that affects your immune system. You should also tell your doctor if you live, have ever lived, of if you have traveled to areas such as the Ohio or Mississippi river valleys where severe fungal infections are more common. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if these infections are common in your area. Tell your doctor if you are taking medications that decrease the activity of the immune system such as the following: abatacept (Orencia); adalimumab (Humira); anakinra (Kineret); certolizumab pegol (Cimzia); etanercept (Enbrel); golimumab (Simponi); infliximab (Remicade); methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall); rituximab (Rituxan); steroids including dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (A-Methapred, Medrol, Solu-Medrol), prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred), and prednisone (Rayos); tocilizumab (Actemra) and tofacitinib (Xeljanz).

Your doctor will monitor you for signs of infection during and after your treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms before you begin your treatment or if you experience any of the following symptoms during or shortly after your treatment, call your doctor immediately: fever; sweating; chills; muscle aches; cough; coughing up bloody mucus; shortness of breath; weight loss; warm, red, or painful skin; sores on the skin; frequent, painful, or burning feeling during urination; diarrhea; stomach pain; or excessive tiredness.

You may already be infected with tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection) but not have any symptoms of the disease. In this case, using sarilumab injection may make your infection more serious and cause you to develop symptoms. Your doctor will perform a skin test to see if you have an inactive TB infection before you begin your treatment with sarilumab injection. If necessary, your doctor will give you medication to treat this infection before you start using sarilumab injection. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had TB, if you have lived in or visited a country where TB is common, or if you have been around someone who has TB. If you have any of the following symptoms of TB, or if you develop any of these symptoms during your treatment, call your doctor immediately: cough, coughing up bloody mucus, weight loss, loss of muscle tone, or fever.

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Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with sarilumab injection and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

🔔 Why is this medication prescribed?

Sarilumab injection is used alone or with other medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA: condition in which the body attacks its own joints causing pain, swelling, and loss of function). Sarilumab is usually used by people who were not helped by certain other drugs for RA or who could not take these medications. Sarilumab injection is in a class of medications called interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitors. It works by blocking the activity of interleukin-6, a substance in the body that causes inflammation.

🔔 How should this medicine be used?

Sarilumab injection comes as a prefilled syringe to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually used once every 2 weeks. Your doctor may decide that you or your caregiver can perform the injections at home. Your doctor will show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it. You or the person who will be injecting the medication should also read the written instructions for use that come with the medication. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to inject the medication.

If your health insurer denies your claim or treatment, you have very little time to act. Appeals to Medicare must be filed within 90 days in the most lenient states, with even shorter deadlines in some states, and many insurers and healthcare providers will turn over unpaid medical bills to collection agencies after just 60 days, the AARP

Remove the medication from the refrigerator 30 minutes before your are ready to inject the medication. Pace it on a flat surface and allow it to reach room temperature. When removing the prefilled syringe from the box, be careful to hold it only by the middle of the syringe body and do not shake the syringe or remove the cap covering the needle. Do not try to warm the medication by heating it in a microwave, placing it in warm water or in direct sunlight, or through any other method.

Before injecting, check the prefilled syringe to be sure that the expiration date printed on the package has not passed. Look closely at the liquid in the syringe. The liquid should be clear or pale yellow and should not be cloudy or discolored or contain lumps or particles. Check if the syringe appears damaged or if the needle cap is missing or not attached. Call your pharmacist if there are any problems and do not inject the medication.

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You may inject sarilumab injection on the front of the thighs or anywhere on your stomach except your navel (belly button) and the area 2 inches around it. If another person is injecting your medication, the outer area of the upper arms also may be used. Do not inject the medication into skin that is tender, bruised, damaged, or scarred. Choose a different spot each time you inject the medication.

Do not reuse sarilumab prefilled syringes and do not recap the syringes after use. Throw away used syringes in a puncture-resistant container and ask your pharmacist how to throw away the container.

Your doctor will watch you carefully to see how well sarilumab injection works for you. Your doctor may adjust your dose or delay or stop your treatment depending on your response to this medication. It is important to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment.

Sarilumab injection may help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. Continue to use sarilumab injection even if you feel well. Do not stop using sarilumab injection without talking to your doctor.