Article date: August 2014
Ofatumumab▼ (Arzerra▼) is indicated for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab.
Infusion reactions have occurred with intravenous ofatumumab. A fatal infusion reaction has occurred during administration of the first dose of ofatumumab to a 71 year old man.
We remind you of the recommendations to reduce the risk of infusion reactions with ofatumumab:
Advice for healthcare professionals:
- Ofatumumab should only be given under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of cancer therapy and where facilities to monitor and treat infusion reactions are available
- Always give patients premedication 30 minutes to 2 hours before each ofatumumab infusion according to the protocol in the summary of product characteristics (see further information below)
- Despite premedication, infusion reactions may still occur
- If an infusion reaction occurs, interrupt ofatumumab infusion immediately and treat the symptoms of the reaction
- Patients with a history of decreased pulmonary function may be at a high risk of pulmonary complications from severe reactions. Monitor these patients closely during ofatumumab infusion.
Infusion reactions have also occurred with other anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies such as rituximab (MabThera) and obinutuzumab (Gazyvaro). Specific recommendations to reduce the risk of infusion reactions for each of these products, including the use of pre-medications, are in the summary of product characteristics for each product (see further information below).
Summaries of product characteristics
Letter sent to healthcare professionals in July 2014
Article citation: Drug Safety Update volume 8 issue 1, August 2014: A2.