Blincyto

1 What is Blincyto?

Brand: Blincyto

Generic: Blinatumomab

Blinatumomab, also known and sold under the trade name of Blincyto, is a product which belongs to the group of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies.

It is used in the treatment of a certain type of a cancer, known as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

It is considered to work by stopping the growth process of the cancer cells. It is available in the form of a powder for solution.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential risks and side effects. For the decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make. During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:

Allergies

Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.

Pediatric

Proper studies done have shown that this medication is safe to be used within children. There are no specific age-connected side effects and risks when this medication has been used within children.

Geriatric

Proper studies done have shown that this medication is safe to be used within geriatric patients. However, studies have shown that side effects are more likely to occur within geriatric patients, due to increased sensitivity. Because of this, extra caution is required when this medication is used within geriatric patients.

Pregnancy

Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown if and how would it affect the fetus. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.

Breastfeeding

Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk, or if and how would it affect the infant. This medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.

Drug interactions

Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain type of a combination, including two or more medications, in order to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.

Other interactions

Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with a specific type of food, tobacco and alcohol, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific diet, and discontinue your use of tobacco and alcohol during the treatment.

Other medical problems

Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Especially, if there are any of the following conditions present – encephalopathy, infections, liver disease, seizures, or neutropenia.

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3 Proper Usage

For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is in the form of a powder for solution. This medication is given intravenously, using a needle and applied in a certain vein, usually on the arm. It is given at the hospital, by the doctor or by a healthcare professional.

The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on you condition and the prognosis of the treatment. This medication is usually given every day for 4 weeks, followed by a 2-week treatment free interval.

4 Precautions to Take

Visit your doctor, regularly at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to apply the following dose, track your condition and make any adjustments if needed.

These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – e.g. the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment with this medication if there are any serious side effects present, which would worsen your condition, or if your condition does not improve.

Inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.

Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future.

This is important because this medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.

Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.

This is important because this medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. This medication may cause dizziness to occur.

Avoid driving and any other activities which require alertness during the treatment. This medication may decrease the ability of the body to fight infections, that would require extra caution when it comes to personal hygiene.

Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations during the treatment, without consulting with your doctor before.

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with its expected beneficial effects, there are potential side effects that could occur. These side effects do not occur within all patients, also they could be mild or more serious. However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible.

Common side effects:

These are common side effects which are considered as nor serious.

However, if their presence persists, or worsens inform the doctor as soon as possible.

Serious side effects:

  • low back/side pain,
  • pink/bloody urine,
  • change in the amount of urine,
  • painful urination,
  • muscle spasms/weakness.
  • These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor right away.

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible:

  • skin rash,
  • itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet,
  • trouble breathing,
  • severe dizziness.
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