What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Using Ocrevus
Before receiving Ocrevus, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have ever taken, take, or plan to take medicines that affect your immune system, or other treatments for MS. These medicines could increase your risk of getting an infection.
- have ever had hepatitis B or are a carrier of the hepatitis B virus.
- have had a recent vaccination or are scheduled to receive any vaccinations.
- You should receive any required ‘live’ or ‘live-attenuated’ vaccines at least 4 weeks before you start treatment with Ocrevus. You should not receive ‘live’ or ‘live-attenuated’ vaccines while you are being treated with Ocrevus and until your healthcare provider tells you that your immune system is no longer weakened.
- When possible, you should receive any ‘non-live’ vaccines at least 2 weeks before you start treatment with Ocrevus. If you would like to receive any non-live vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine, while you are being treated with Ocrevus, talk to your healthcare provider.
- If you have a baby and you received Ocrevus during your pregnancy, it is important to tell your baby’s healthcare provider about receiving Ocrevus so they can decide when your baby should be vaccinated.
Who Gets Alopecia Areata
While anyone can get alopecia areata, some people have a greater risk of developing it. Those most likely to get it have:
A close blood relative with alopecia areata: Its estimated that about 10% to 20% of people with alopecia areata have a family member who has it. Because many people try to hide hair loss, this percentage may be higher.
Asthma, hay fever, atopic dermatitis, thyroid disease, vitiligo, or Down syndrome: Research shows that people who have one of these diseases are more likely to get alopecia areata.
Been treating cancer with a drug called nivolumab: While its too early to say whether this greatly increases your risk, a few cancer patients who received a drug called nivolumab have developed alopecia areata. The drug is used to treat lung cancer and melanoma that has spread. Hair loss usually begins a few months after they start treatment. Its called nivolumab-induced alopecia areata, and the hair loss is considered a good sign. This type of hair loss usually means that the drug is working.You can treat this hair loss with a corticosteroid that you apply to the bald spots. It allows the hair to regrow without stopping cancer treatment.
Your race may also affect your risk of getting alopecia areata. In a large study, researchers found that black and Hispanic nurses were more likely than non-Hispanic white nurses to develop this disease.
Is Ocrevus Considered Chemotherapy
Considering this, what class of drug is Ocrevus?
Similarly, how long does it take for Ocrevus to work? There’s no standard timeline for how long ocrelizumab takes to work. But the 2016 study comparing ocrelizumab to interferon beta-1a found that: slowed disability progression was seen within 12 weeks of treatment. reduced size of brain lesions was seen within 24 weeks of treatment.
Likewise, is chemotherapy used to treat multiple sclerosis?
Although the word is better known as a description of treatments for cancer, several chemotherapy drugs have been used in multiple sclerosis as disease modifying drugs. Chemotherapy is also used in stem cell therapies for MS. Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill white blood cells, which are part of this attack.
Does Ocrevus stop progression?
Ocrevus is a disease modifying drug for active relapsing remitting, very active relapsing remitting MS and early primary progressive MS. You have fewer relapses than you might have had without treatment, and disease progression is slowed. Unlike other DMDs, Ocrevus has not been tested against placebo.
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What Every Ms Patient Should Know About Ocrevus And Its Use
With the recent approval of Ocrevus for both primary progressive and relapsing multiple sclerosis , interest in the medication is peaking. To help readers of Multiple Sclerosis News Today better understand this new medication and how it works, as well issues dealing with access, use, and potential side effects, here is a summary of the most relevant information now available about Ocrevus.
Can Ocrevus Cause Cancer
Its possible, though unlikely, that you may develop cancer from taking Ocrevus.
In clinical trials, there was an increased risk of breast cancer in people taking Ocrevus.
Of the 781 women taking Ocrevus, 6 developed breast cancer. In comparison, none of the 668 women taking either a placebo or interferon beta-1a developed breast cancer.
While taking Ocrevus, you should follow . This means some women should get a mammogram every year or every 2 years to check for breast cancer.
Some women may begin mammogram screenings earlier than age 45, based on their family or personal history.
Although the risk of cancer as a side effect is very low, its important to follow breast cancer screening guidelines while taking Ocrevus.
You should also see your doctor right away if you notice any lumps or pain in your breast or any discharge from your nipple. Your doctor can do more tests to determine if theres an issue.
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Financial And Insurance Assistance
If you need financial support to pay for Ocrevus, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
Genentech, the manufacturer of Ocrevus, offers a number of resources, including the Ocrevus Co-pay Program. For more information and to find out if youre eligible for support, call 844-OCREVUS or visit the program website.
Common Conditions People Have *:
* Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.
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Upper And Lower Respiratory Infections
Upper and lower respiratory infections are two of the most common side effects reported by people taking Ocrevus in clinical trials. Upper respiratory infections were more common than lower respiratory infections .
Symptoms of a respiratory infection can include:
Most people who had an upper or lower respiratory infection while taking Ocrevus had mild cases. But, rarely, these infections can be severe.
What you can do
If you have an active infection before starting Ocrevus, the infection will need to be treated, or youll have to wait until it resolves before starting Ocrevus. This includes an upper or lower respiratory infection.
If you develop symptoms of an infection while taking Ocrevus, call your doctor. Theyll likely want to evaluate your symptoms further. If they diagnose an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics to treat it. They may also recommend treatments for any symptoms youre experiencing.
A simple but effective way to help prevent infection includes washing your hands. You should do this regularly, especially during Ocrevus treatment. For tips on how to properly wash your hands, check out this article.
Is Ocrevus For Everyone
Each MS patient considering Ocrevus treatment should discuss with a physician if the treatment is a suitable option, as there are certain groups of patients who should not take the medication.
People who have been infected with the Hepatitis B virus should not receive Ocrevus. In specific cases, a liver disease expert may be consulted to consider if an exception is possible.
People who have had an allergic reaction to ocrelizumab, or to any of the components in the infusion solution, should not take Ocrevus.
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Increased Risk Of Cancer
Ocrevus weakens part of your immune system . As with other medications that work this way, Ocrevus may slightly increase your risk for developing cancer. Instudies, cancers such as breast cancer, though rare, were reported in people receiving Ocrevus.
- pitting, redness, or other discoloration of the skin on your breast
What might help
For certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, taking part in screening programs may help identify any growths or tumors early. For example, current guidelines recommend that women ages 45 years and older have a mammogram to check for breast cancer every 1 or 2 years. Talk with your doctor about your risk for developing cancer and any screening programs you should take part in.
If you have any unusual lumps, bumps, pains, or other unexplained symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor right away.
Here are some general tips to help minimize your risk for cancer:
- Avoid smoking.
- Follow a healthy diet containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Protect your skin from sunburn.
- Follow your doctors instructions for taking part in cancer screening programs.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if youre concerned about any possible increased risk of cancer with Ocrevus.
Ocrevus Use With Other Drugs
Your doctor may recommend that you take certain medications before you get each dose of Ocrevus. These medications can help lower your risk for having side effects from the infusion.
Youll usually be given a corticosteroid such as methylprednisolone about 30 minutes before your Ocrevus infusion. Like Ocrevus, this drug is given intravenously .
Youll also be given an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine , about 30 to 60 minutes before your Ocrevus infusion. You may also take acetaminophen or another fever-reducing drug before starting your infusion.
Talk with your doctor about which medications youll need to take before your Ocrevus infusions.
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Compliance With Ethics Guidelines
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional written informed consent was obtained from participants for release of their images.
This trial was not registered on ClinicalTrials.gov because it is a real-world observational evaluation and not a clinical trial.
Side Effects And Risks
Ocrevus and Lemtrada have some similar side effects and other that differ. Below are examples of these side effects.
Mild side effects
These lists contain examples of up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with each drug or with both Ocrevus and Lemtrada .
- Can occur with Ocrevus:
- lower respiratory infection, such as pneumonia
- infusion reactions
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Ways You Can Improve Hair Growth
There arent many proven treatments for hair loss but there are some things you can do to improve the health of your hair:
Make sure you are gentle with your hair. Avoid harsh treatments or colouring or tight hairstyles.
Take care of your scalp. Gently massage to increase blood flow and stimulate the scalp.
Keep your hair and scalp moistured – condition your hair regularly.
If you believe your hair loss could be caused by stress, try mindfulness based stress reduction and meditation. This is a key part of the OMS Recovery Program.
Get your iron levels tested to check that you are not anaemic.
Wait and see – most hair loss will stop in time and you will see regrowth.
Hair loss is not a symptom of MS, but could be related as a side effect of a medication, or due to the stress of an MS diagnosis. The majority of hair loss or thinning is temporary, and does not require treatment.
It Also Might Be That Hair Loss Is A Side Effect Of Another Drug You Are Taking:
Antidepressants and mood stabilizers
Depression is a common symptom or comorbidity of MS therefore antidepressants or mood stabilisers may be prescribed. Antidepressants are also often used to treat neuropathic pain syndromes. If you are taking one of these medications, it could be that they are causing the hair loss, this often happens 4-8 weeks after starting the medication. This is not permanent and hair usually recovers up to six months after the medication is discontinued.
Other types of hair loss
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Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, ocrelizumab may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ocrelizumab:
Applies to ocrelizumab: intravenous solution
How To Deal With Hair Loss
Unwanted hair change can be traumatic at any age and for any reason. These strategies from patients who’ve experienced it may help.
Prepare others. Reassure family and friends, especially children, that although you may look different with no or thinner hair, you’re getting healthier thanks to your medical treatmentwhether it’s chemotherapy, surgery, or medication.
Do what’s important to you. If you feel comfortable in a fuchsia wig, wear it. If you have no problem with your hairless dome, raise your head proudly. “Don’t be afraid of your choices,” says Rohina Hoffman, a neurologist-turned-photographer and author of Hair Stories . “Don’t let fear of judgment hinder your needs or wishes.”
Seek support. Consider seeing a professional therapist, leaning on friends and family, or joining an online support group. “Hair loss is emotionally challenging, and support is crucial,” says Kelly Baker, who lost her hair after taking divalproex sodium for epilepsy. Her hair grew back after her neurologist adjusted the dose.
Find an understanding stylist. Baker has high praise for both her current hairstylist and the one who worked with her when her formerly straight hair came in curly, although they had very different approaches. Her current stylist has shown Baker how to shape her curls and what products to use, while her previous stylist tried to remove the curls with relaxers and gelsbut both provided much needed support.
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How Does Ocrevus Work
Ocrevus is prescribed to treat certain types of MS in adults. MS causes your immune system to attack the protective covering of your brain and spinal cord. This can cause swelling in your brain and spinal cord, which interrupts the communication between your brain and body.
Ocrevus works by lowering the number of B cells in your body. This lessens the activity of your immune system and relieves your MS symptoms.
If you have questions about how Ocrevus works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Ocrevus For Relapsing Forms Of Ms
Relapsing forms of MS happen when your disease relapses and then goes into remission for a time. This means that your symptoms, such as numbness or tingling, may go away and then come back again.
Ocrevus is approved to treat the following forms of relapsing MS:
- Clinically isolated syndrome *. CIS happens when someone who hasnt been diagnosed with MS experiences MS-like symptoms. This is a one-time episode that lasts at least 24 hours. People with CIS dont necessarily have MS, but its often the first sign of MS.
- Relapsing-remitting MS. This occurs when you have relapses followed by periods of remission.
- Active secondary progressive MS. With this condition, you may have started with relapsing-remitting MS, but now your MS symptoms get gradually worse all the time.
*CIS is not technically MS, but its sometimes grouped together with relapsing forms of MS.
Effectiveness for relapsing forms of MS
In a clinical trial, people who took Ocrevus were less likely to have their MS-related disabilities get worse compared with people who took interferon beta-1a.
To evaluate this, researchers used the Expanded Disability Status Scale . This is a tool to monitor how disabling a persons MS is. A higher EDSS score means a more severe disability.
In the trial, people with relapsing forms of MS who took Ocrevus were 46% less likely to have a relapse compared with people taking interferon beta-1a .
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