The US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Ocrelizumab in March 2017 for the San Francisco-based biotechnology company Genentech, Inc.
It is the first drug approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in adult patients.
MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and is one of the most common causes of neurological disability that usually affects young adults in the US. Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can begin anywhere between the ages of 20 and 40.
According to Billy Dunn, the director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, MS “can have a profound impact on a person’s life.”
New MS Drug Ocrelizumab
Ocrelizumab can help to reduce relapses and worsening disability.
Dunn has also mentioned that “this therapy not only provides another treatment option for those with relapsing MS, but for the first time provides an approved therapy for those with primary progressive MS.”
Estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that nearly 15% of people with MS also have PPMS.
In a clinical trial where Ocrelizumab was compared to another MS drug called Rebif (interferon beta-1a), patients that received Ocrelizumab reported reduced relapse rates and a reduced rate at which the person’s disability was worsening.
Ocrelizumab is an injection in the veins that should be administered by a doctor or a professional healthcare provider.
You should not take Ocrelizumab if you have hepatitis B infection or a history of life-threatening infusion-related reactions to this drug.
Side effects of this medication may include itchy skin, rash, hives, skin redness, flushing, low blood pressure, fever, tiredness, dizziness, headache, throat irritation, shortness of breath, swelling of the throat, nausea, and fast heartbeat.
Remember to talk to your doctor or a professional healthcare provider before you decide to take Ocrelizumab.
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