Tisagenlecleucel Injection

Tisagenlecleucel injection may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction called cytokine release syndrome (CRS). A doctor or nurse will monitor you carefully during your infusion and for at least 4 weeks afterwards. Tell your doctor if you have an inflammatory disorder or if you have or think you may have any type of infection now. You will be given medications 30 to 60 minutes before your infusion to help prevent reactions to tisagenlecleucel. If you experience any of the following symptoms during and after your infusion, tell your doctor immediately: fever, chills, shaking, cough, diarrhea, muscle or joint pain, tiredness, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Tisagenlecleucel injection may cause severe or life-threatening nervous system reactions. If you experience any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately: headache, restlessness, confusion, anxiety, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, loss of consciousness, agitation, seizures, pain or numbness in an arm or leg, loss of balance, difficulty understanding, or difficulty speaking.

Tisagenlecleucel injection is only available through a special restricted distribution program. A program called Kymriah REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) has been set up because of the risks of CRS and neurological toxicities. You can only receive the medication from a doctor and healthcare facility that participates in the program. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about this program.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with tisagenlecleucel. 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?

Tisagenlecleucel injection is used to treat certain acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute lymphatic leukemia; a type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells) in people 25 years of age or younger that has returned or is unresponsive to other treatment(s). It is also used to treat a certain type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection) and follicular lymphoma (FL; a slow-growing cancer that begins in the white blood cells) in adults that has returned or is unresponsive after treatment with at least two other medications. Tisagenlecleucel injection is in a class of medications called autologous cellular immunotherapy, a type of medication prepared using cells from the patient’s own blood. It works by causing the body’s immune system (a group of cells, tissues, and organs that protects the body from attack by bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other substances that cause disease) to fight the cancer cells.

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🔔 How should this medicine be used?

Tisagenlecleucel injection comes as a suspension (liquid) to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a doctor’s office or infusion center. It is usually given over a period of up to 60 minutes as a one-time dose. Before you receive your tisagenlecleucel dose, your doctor or nurse will administer other chemotherapy medications to prepare your body for tisagenlecleucel.

Part of the reason for these long wait times and short appointments is due to a nationwide shortage of physicians that is only getting worse. A report by the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that, due to population growth and specifically growth of the elderly population, the physician shortfall in the U.S. could reach 121,300 by the year 2030.

About 3 to 4 weeks before your dose of tisagenlecleucel injection is to be given, a sample of your white blood cells will be taken at a cell collection center using a procedure called leukapheresis (a process that removes white blood cells from the body). This procedure will take about 3 to 6 hours and may need to be repeated. Because this medication is made from your own cells, it must be given only to you. It is important to be on time and to not to miss your scheduled cell collection appointment(s) or to receive your treatment dose. You should plan to stay within 2 hours of the location where you received your tisagenlecleucel treatment for at least 4 weeks after your dose. Your healthcare provider will check to see if your treatment is working and monitor you for any possible side effects. Talk to your doctor about how to prepare for leukapheresis and what to expect during and after the procedure.