Indication & Important Safety Information for Soliris® (eculizumab)

INDICATION

What is SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS is a prescription medicine called a monoclonal antibody. SOLIRIS is used to treat:

  • patients with a disease called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)

It is not known if SOLIRIS is safe and effective in children with PNH.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS is a medicine that affects your immune system. SOLIRIS can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections.

  • SOLIRIS increases your chance of getting serious and life-threatening meningococcal infections. Meningococcal infections may quickly become life-threatening and cause death if not recognized and treated early.
  1. You must receive meningococcal vaccines at least 2 weeks before your first dose of SOLIRIS if you have not already had this vaccine.
  2. If your doctor decided that urgent treatment with SOLIRIS is needed, you should receive meningococcal vaccination as soon as possible.
  3. If you have not been vaccinated and SOLIRIS therapy must be initiated immediately, you should also receive 2 weeks of antibiotics with your vaccinations.
  4. If you had a meningococcal vaccine in the past, you might need additional vaccination before starting SOLIRIS. Your doctor will decide if you need additional meningococcal vaccination.
  5. Meningococcal vaccines reduce the risk of meningococcal infection but do not prevent all meningococcal infections. Call your doctor or get emergency medical care right away if you get any of these signs and symptoms of a meningococcal infection:
    • headache with nausea or vomiting
    • headache and a fever
    • headache with a stiff neck or stiff back
    • fever
    • fever and rash
    • confusion
    • muscle aches with flu-like symptoms
    • eyes sensitive to light

Your doctor will give you a Patient Safety Card about the risk of meningococcal infection. Carry it with you at all times during treatment and for 3 months after your last SOLIRIS dose. Your risk of meningococcal infection may continue for several weeks after your last dose of SOLIRIS. It is important to show this card to any doctor or nurse who treats you. This will help them diagnose and treat you quickly.

SOLIRIS is only available through a program called the SOLIRIS REMS. Before you can receive SOLIRIS, your doctor must:

  • enroll in the SOLIRIS REMS program
  • counsel you about the risk of meningococcal infection
  • give you information about the symptoms of meningococcal infection
  • give you a Patient Safety Card about your risk of meningococcal infection, as discussed above
  • make sure that you are vaccinated with a meningococcal vaccine

SOLIRIS may also increase the risk of other types of serious infections. If your child is treated with SOLIRIS, make sure that your child receives vaccinations against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Certain people may be at risk of serious infections with gonorrhea. Talk to your doctor about whether you are at risk for gonorrhea infection, about gonorrhea prevention, and regular testing. Certain fungal infections (Aspergillus) may also happen if you take SOLIRIS and have a weak immune system or a low white blood cell count.

Who should not receive SOLIRIS?

Do not receive SOLIRIS if you:

  • have a meningococcal infection.
  • have not been vaccinated against meningitis infection unless your doctor decides that urgent treatment with SOLIRIS is needed. See “What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?”

Before you receive SOLIRIS, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have an infection or fever.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SOLIRIS will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SOLIRIS passes into your breast milk.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. SOLIRIS and other medicines can affect each other causing side effects.

It is important that you:

  • have all recommended vaccinations before you start SOLIRIS
  • receive 2 weeks of antibiotics if you immediately start SOLIRIS
  • stay up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations during treatment with SOLIRIS

Know the medications you take and the vaccines you receive. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Monitoring Disease After Stopping SOLIRIS

  • If you have PNH, your doctor will need to monitor you closely for at least 8 weeks after stopping SOLIRIS. Stopping treatment with SOLIRIS may cause breakdown of your red blood cells due to PNH. Symptoms or problems that can happen due to red blood cell breakdown include:
    • drop in the number of your red blood cell count
    • drop in your platelet counts
    • confusion
    • kidney problems
    • blood clots
    • difficulty breathing
    • chest pain

What are the possible side effects of SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS can cause serious side effects including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?”
  • Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen during your SOLIRIS infusion. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you get any of these symptoms during your SOLIRIS infusion:
    • chest pain
    • trouble breathing or shortness of breath
    • swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
    • feel faint or pass out

If you have an allergic reaction to SOLIRIS, your doctor may need to infuse SOLIRIS more slowly, or stop SOLIRIS. See “How will I receive SOLIRIS?” in the Medication Guide.

The most common side effects in people with PNH treated with SOLIRIS include:

  • headache
  • pain or swelling of your nose or throat (nasopharyngitis)
  • back pain
  • nausea

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of SOLIRIS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for SOLIRIS, including Boxed WARNING regarding serious and life-threatening meningococcal infections.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of PNH?

The signs and symptoms of PNH can be similar to those of other diseases. It is important to discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor. It is an unpredictable disease that everyone can experience differently, even from day to day.1,2 There is no one sign, symptom, or lab result that defines PNH, but there is a test that can identify it. PNH can be diagnosed using high-sensitivity flow cytometry – the most sensitive and reliable test your doctor can order for the diagnosis of PNH.1

Sometimes symptoms you can see or feel are a clue to things that are going on beneath the surface — serious signs you may not always be able to see or feel. You may feel fine, even when your lab results show potential problems. That is how PNH is like an iceberg — what you cannot see or feel can hurt you the most.3

It’s important for you and your doctor to track your signs, symptoms and lab results, and to treat your PNH early before serious problems occur.1

Symptoms you can see or feel.

  • Fatigue. Tiredness, difficulty performing daily activities, trouble concentrating, weakness.2,4,5

  • Pain. Stomach pain, leg pain or swelling, chest pain, back pain.2,4,6

  • Other signs and symptoms. Dark-colored urine, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, yellowing of the skin and eyes, erectile dysfunction (ED).2,4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs you may not always see or feel.

  • Blood clots4

  • Kidney disease4

  • Damage to your organs2,7

  • Stroke7

  • Heart attack7

 

 

 

 

Even though you can’’t see or feel it, hemolysis is always happening in your body. Hemolysis is the main cause of major health problems in people with PNH.3

Serious health risks can take you by surprise. If left untreated, PNH can lead to:

  • Life-threatening blood clots4
    Formed when parts of the blood clump together, blood clots can block veins and arteries and lead to heart attack, stroke, and organ damage, as well as other problems. They can occur at any time, even in patients with a small percentage of PNH cells in their blood. Blood clots are one of the most serious, life-threatening conditions in patients with PNH.

  • Kidney damage8
    Almost 2/3 of people with PNH have chronic kidney disease.

  • Chronic fatigue9
    Hemolysis affects the way oxygen gets delivered throughout your body. This can make you feel weak and tired to the point where once-normal, everyday activities become a struggle.In PNH, there are actually two causes of fatigue: hemolysis itself, which is the main cause of fatigue, and the anemia that’s caused by hemolysis.Fatigue is often worse than the amount of anemia you have, as measured by your hemoglobin level.

  • Serious lung problems3
    Lung problems can be caused by pulmonary hypertension. This can lead to shortness of breath and other serious health problems.

Speak with your doctor about treating PNH and reducing hemolysis— — with Soliris.

Fatigue tiredness, trouble concentrating…
Pain stomach pain, leg pain, or swelling…
Other Signs and Symptoms dark-colored urine, yellowing of the skin and eyes…

Personalized Patient Support

Alexion Nurse Case Managers are here to help you with answers to your questions about Soliris and PNH.

Important Safety Information

Indication & Important Safety Information for Soliris® (eculizumab)

INDICATION

What is SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS is a prescription medicine called a monoclonal antibody. SOLIRIS is used to treat:

  • patients with a disease called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)

It is not known if SOLIRIS is safe and effective in children with PNH.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS is a medicine that affects your immune system. SOLIRIS can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections.

  • SOLIRIS increases your chance of getting serious and life-threatening meningococcal infections. Meningococcal infections may quickly become life-threatening and cause death if not recognized and treated early.
  1. You must receive meningococcal vaccines at least 2 weeks before your first dose of SOLIRIS if you have not already had this vaccine.
  2. If your doctor decided that urgent treatment with SOLIRIS is needed, you should receive meningococcal vaccination as soon as possible.
  3. If you have not been vaccinated and SOLIRIS therapy must be initiated immediately, you should also receive 2 weeks of antibiotics with your vaccinations.
  4. If you had a meningococcal vaccine in the past, you might need additional vaccination before starting SOLIRIS. Your doctor will decide if you need additional meningococcal vaccination.
  5. Meningococcal vaccines reduce the risk of meningococcal infection but do not prevent all meningococcal infections. Call your doctor or get emergency medical care right away if you get any of these signs and symptoms of a meningococcal infection:
    • headache with nausea or vomiting
    • headache and a fever
    • headache with a stiff neck or stiff back
    • fever
    • fever and rash
    • confusion
    • muscle aches with flu-like symptoms
    • eyes sensitive to light

Your doctor will give you a Patient Safety Card about the risk of meningococcal infection. Carry it with you at all times during treatment and for 3 months after your last SOLIRIS dose. Your risk of meningococcal infection may continue for several weeks after your last dose of SOLIRIS. It is important to show this card to any doctor or nurse who treats you. This will help them diagnose and treat you quickly.

SOLIRIS is only available through a program called the SOLIRIS REMS. Before you can receive SOLIRIS, your doctor must:

  • enroll in the SOLIRIS REMS program
  • counsel you about the risk of meningococcal infection
  • give you information about the symptoms of meningococcal infection
  • give you a Patient Safety Card about your risk of meningococcal infection, as discussed above
  • make sure that you are vaccinated with a meningococcal vaccine

SOLIRIS may also increase the risk of other types of serious infections. If your child is treated with SOLIRIS, make sure that your child receives vaccinations against Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Certain people may be at risk of serious infections with gonorrhea. Talk to your doctor about whether you are at risk for gonorrhea infection, about gonorrhea prevention, and regular testing. Certain fungal infections (Aspergillus) may also happen if you take SOLIRIS and have a weak immune system or a low white blood cell count.

Who should not receive SOLIRIS?

Do not receive SOLIRIS if you:

  • have a meningococcal infection.
  • have not been vaccinated against meningitis infection unless your doctor decides that urgent treatment with SOLIRIS is needed. See “What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?”

Before you receive SOLIRIS, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have an infection or fever.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SOLIRIS will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SOLIRIS passes into your breast milk.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. SOLIRIS and other medicines can affect each other causing side effects.

It is important that you:

  • have all recommended vaccinations before you start SOLIRIS
  • receive 2 weeks of antibiotics if you immediately start SOLIRIS
  • stay up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations during treatment with SOLIRIS

Know the medications you take and the vaccines you receive. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Monitoring Disease After Stopping SOLIRIS

  • If you have PNH, your doctor will need to monitor you closely for at least 8 weeks after stopping SOLIRIS. Stopping treatment with SOLIRIS may cause breakdown of your red blood cells due to PNH. Symptoms or problems that can happen due to red blood cell breakdown include:
    • drop in the number of your red blood cell count
    • drop in your platelet counts
    • confusion
    • kidney problems
    • blood clots
    • difficulty breathing
    • chest pain

What are the possible side effects of SOLIRIS?

SOLIRIS can cause serious side effects including:

  • See “What is the most important information I should know about SOLIRIS?”
  • Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen during your SOLIRIS infusion. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you get any of these symptoms during your SOLIRIS infusion:
    • chest pain
    • trouble breathing or shortness of breath
    • swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
    • feel faint or pass out

If you have an allergic reaction to SOLIRIS, your doctor may need to infuse SOLIRIS more slowly, or stop SOLIRIS. See “How will I receive SOLIRIS?” in the Medication Guide.

The most common side effects in people with PNH treated with SOLIRIS include:

  • headache
  • pain or swelling of your nose or throat (nasopharyngitis)
  • back pain
  • nausea

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of SOLIRIS. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the accompanying full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for SOLIRIS, including Boxed WARNING regarding serious and life-threatening meningococcal infections.

  1. Sahin F, et al. Am J Blood Res. 2016;6(2):19-27.

  2. Weitz I, et al. Intern Med J. 2013;43(3):298-307.

  3. Sahin F, et al. Am J Blood Res. 2015;5(1):1-9.

  4. Brodsky RA. In: Hoffman R, et al. eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. Saunders/Elsevier;2013:373-382.

  5. Al-Harbi A, et al. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transplant. 1998;9(2):147-151.

  6. Hill A, et al. Blood. 2013;121(25):4985-4996.

  7. Rachidi S, et al. Eur J Intern Med. 2010;21(4):260-267.

  8. Hillmen P, et al. Am J Hematol. 2010;85(8):553-559.

  9. Young NS, et al. Semin Hematol. 2009;46(1 Suppl 1):S1-S16.