Anthim is to be given with appropriate antibacterial drugs when treating inhalational anthrax. Anthim was also approved to prevent inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or appropriate.
Inhalational anthrax, a rare disease, may occur after being exposed to the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Exposure to B. anthracis can occur in any of the following situations:
- Contact with infected animals
- Exposure to contaminated animal products
- Exposure to intentional release of anthrax spores
Regardless of the type of exposure, inhalational anthrax is caused by breathing in B. anthracis spores.
Anthim, a monoclonal antibody, works to neutralize the toxins produced by B. anthracis, which may otherwise result in irreversible tissue injury and death.
In fact, according to the FDA, anthrax is a potential bioterrorism threat.
In 320 healthy patients, Anthim appeared safe overall. Commonly reported side effects included cough, nasal congestion, headache and upper respiratory tract infections, among other effects.
Anthim carries a boxed warning alerting patients and health care providers about the risk for allergic reactions (hypersensitivity), which includes a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. However, since anthrax is serious and can be deadly, the benefits of treatment are expected to outweigh the risks.