What is Tysabri?
Tysabri is an intravenous (IV) medication used to treat relapsing forms of MS.
Why use Tysabri in MS?
Tysabri is used to decrease the frequency of MS attacks and slow down the progression of the disease.
Which MS patients are prescribed Tysabri?
Relapsing MS patients who have not responded to, or cannot tolerate interferons or Copaxone are sometimes considered for treatment with Tysabri.
How is Tysabri given?
Tysabri is given through an IV at an outpatient infusion center. Patients do not need to be admitted into the hospital for Tysabri. Infusions typically take two hours and are given every four weeks.
Is Tysabri safe in pregnancy?
No. The effects of Tysabri on a fetus are unknown and it is not considered safe for use during pregnancy.
What are possible side effects of Tysabri?
Side effects may include urinary tract or upper respiratory tract infections, headaches, fatigue, depression, stomach aches, joint pain and diarrhea.
What are less common side effects of Tysabri?
In the original clinical trials for Tysabri, three of 3,000 patients developed a serious brain infection called Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML).Two of the three patients with PML died. All three patients were taking Tysabri along with another medication. The risk of developing PML using solely Tysabri (not in combination with other drugs) is unknown at this time, however, it is believed that risk may be around one in 1,000. Patients on Tysabri may be at risk for other serious infections such as pneumonia, as well.
Allergic reactions to Tysabri are rare and can range from mild (for example, skin rash, itching, swelling, numbness) to severe (for example, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, shock or even heart arrest, and death). The symptoms of a mild allergic reaction typically resolve without treatment. In the case of more severe allergic reactions such as shock, immediate medical treatment is necessary.
What tests are required while I receive Tysabri treatments?
A recent brain MRI scan and baseline blood tests are recommended before the first Tysabri infusion.
What symptoms should I tell my doctor about while I’m getting Tysabri?
A patient should share any new symptoms with his/her doctor, especially if s/he develops new arm or leg weakness or difficulty with vision.