Daratumumab treats a form of blood cancer (multiple myeloma). May cause you to feel fatigue.

Daratumumab Overview

Reviewed: May 2, 2013

Daratumumab is a prescription medication used to treat multiple myeloma.

It belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. These work by helping certain cells in the immune system attack cancer cells.

This medication is available as an injection to be infused by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of daratumumab include infusion-related reactions and fatigue.

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Daratumumab Cautionary Labels


Uses of Daratumumab

Daratumumab is a prescription medication used to treat multiple myeloma:

  • Can be given in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone, in those who have received at least one prior medicine to treat multiple myeloma.
  • Can be given combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone in those who have received at least two prior medicines to treat multiple myeloma, including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor.
  • Can be given alone in those who have received at least three prior medicines to treat multiple myeloma, including a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent, or did not respond to a proteasome inhibitor and an immunomodulatory agent. 

It is not known if this medication is safe and effective in children.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Daratumumab Brand Names

Daratumumab may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Daratumumab Drug Class

Daratumumab is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Daratumumab

Serious side effects have been reported with daratumumab. See the “daratumumab Precautions” section.

Common side effects of daratumumab include the following:

  • infusion-related reactions
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • back pain
  • fever
  • cough
  • low blood counts (low white blood cells, low red blood cells (anemia) and/or low levels of blood platelets 

This is not a complete list of daratumumab side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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

Daratumumab Interactions

No drug interactions studies have been performed by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Daratumumab Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with daratumumab including the following:

  • Infusion reactions. Infusion reactions can occur with this medication. Your doctor may give you certain medications before and after the infusion to help prevent developing a reaction. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get any of these symptoms during or after an infusion this medication:

    • rash or hives (red itchy welts)
    • itching
    • swelling of your lips, tongue, throat or face
    • sudden cough
    • shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
    • nausea or vomiting
    • dizziness or feel faint
    • headache
    • runny or stuffy nose
  • Changes in blood tests. Daratumumab can change the results of certain blood tests that determine your blood type. Daratumumab can affect these results for up to 6 months after you finish taking it. Your doctor will perform blood tests to determine your blood type before starting you on treatment with daratumumab. Tell all of your healthcare providers that you are taking this medication prior to receiving any blood transfusions.

Do not take daratumumab if you are allergic to daratumumab or any of its ingredients.

Daratumumab Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of daratumumab, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking daratumumab, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • currently have or have previously had any problems with your breathing
  • have had shingles (herpes zoster)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Daratumumab and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

There have been no studies in humans or animals with daratumumab and therefore it is not known how this medication can affect unborn babies. However, monoclonal antibodies such as daratumumab cross the placenta and may cause harm to an unborn baby. Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment with daratumumab and for at least 3 months after you finish taking daratumumab. Talk to your healthcare provider about which birth control methods are right for you.

Daratumumab and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if daratumumab crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using daratumumab.

Daratumumab Usage

Daratumumab comes in an injectable form to be infused directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional in a medical setting. It is usually given once a week for the first 8 weeks, then once every 2 weeks for 16 weeks, then once every 4 weeks after that.

Your healthcare provider will determine how many treatments you need to receive.

Your healthcare provider will give you medicines before each dose of daratumumab and on the first day after each dose of daratumumab to help reduce the risk of infusion reactions. 

The infusion should be completed within 15 hours. Your doctor will give you other medicines before you receive daratumumab and for the first and second day after you receive daratumumab to help lower your risk of having a reaction to the infusion. If you experience a reaction, your doctor may slow down the infusion or stop daratumumab completely.

If you miss an appointment to receive a dose of daratumumab, call your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule. 

Daratumumab Dosage

The dose of daratumumab you receive will be based on your weight. The recommended dose of Darzalex (daratumumab) is 16 mg per kg of body weight, given weekly for 8 weeks, then every 2 weeks for 16 weeks, then every 4 weeks after that. 

Daratumumab Overdose

If daratumumab is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

Make sure to keep all your appointments with your healthcare providers and laboratory.