CANADA- Healthycanadians.gc.ca writes that LEMTRADA presents certain serious health risks for patients who undergo treatment with the prescription drug. LEMTRADA is prescribed to patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Typically, this medication is only used when other forms of treatment have been tried without much success. Doctors will consider LEMTRADA after two other forms of treatment have not been suitable.
Studies have indicated that the drug can lead to haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, HLH, which is a life-threatening condition impacting a person’s immune system. HLH presents with fevers, systemic inflammation, swollen lymph nodes, skin rashes, and bruising. If HLH is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it has a high risk of patient mortality. This condition may occur in a patient anywhere from a few months after he or she was treated up to four years later.
Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) is also indicated as a possible side-effect of LEMTRADA. AIH is a condition in which a person’s body attacks their liver causing liver inflammation, which is referred to as hepatitis. These patients can develop cirrhosis of the liver, which can result in liver failure.
Patients may also experience heart trouble, including difficulty breathing and chest pains, bleeding in their lungs, strokes, and tears in their arteries.
Health Canada is working with the manufacturer of this drug to inform healthcare professionals of the risks associated with LEMTRADA, and the warning signs to be on the lookout for in patients who are treated with this medication. Health Canada is also urging medical professionals and consumers to report any complications with LEMTRADA to Health Canada or the drug manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis Canada Inc. The reports help to monitor the impact of the drug on patients.
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