Kevzara

Kevzara is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. This medication may cause serious infections such as tuberculosis (TB). Before starting treatment, your doctor will test you for TB.

Kevzara Overview

Reviewed: July 12, 2017
Updated: 

Kevzara is a prescription medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Kevzara belongs to a group of drugs called IL-6 inhibitors and works to decrease inflammation.

Kevzara is a self-administered injection to be injected directly below the skin. 

Common side effects of Kevzara include a decrease in white blood cells, liver damage, redness at the site of injection, and lung infections. 

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Kevzara Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Kevzara

Kevzara is a prescription medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when other RA medications have failed or are not applicable. RA is an autoimmune disorder when the body's immune system attacks its own joint causing swelling and pain. 

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

Manufacturer

Sarilumab

For more information on this medication choose from the list of selections below.

Kevzara Drug Class

Kevzara is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Kevzara

Serious side effects have been reported with Kevzara. See the "Kevzara Precautions" section. 

Common side effects of Kevzara include:

  • decreased in white blood cells
  • liver damage
  • redness at the site of injection
  • lung infections
  • itching at the site of injection

This is not a complete list of Kevzara side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or that do 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. 

Kevzara Interactions

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

  • other medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis such as methotrexate
  • medications that use the CYP3A4 enzyme such as budesonide (Entocort), cyclosporine (Neoral, Gengraf, Sandimmune), darifenacin (Enablex), dihydroergotamine (Migranal), fentanyl (Abstral, Fentora, Onsolis, Actiq), pimozide (Orap), quinidine (Cardioquin, Duraquin, Quinact), sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf), terfenadine (Seldane), fluticasone (Flovent HFA, Flonase), eletriptan (Relpax), lovastatin (Mevacor), quetiapine (Seroquel), sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio), and simvastatin (Zocor)

This is not a complete list of Kevzara drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Kevzara Precautions

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

Serious Infections. Most common infections include pneumonia and cellulitis. However serious infections such as tuberculosis and viral reactivation are associated with Kevzara. 

Changes in blood cell count.  Kevzara can decrease white blood cell counts and platelets and increase liver enzymes and cholesterol levels. 

Stomach/Intestine problems. This medication increases the risk of damage to the stomach/intestine system and can lead to holes and bleeding.

A decrease in immune response. Kevzara can affect your body's ability to fights infections. 

Severe allergic reactions. Tell your doctor if you experience any chest pain, swelling of any part of your body, difficulty breathing, or rash.

Liver problems. A Decline in liver function can occur. Tell your doctor if you experience any loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, stomach pain, dark urine, or yellow in your eyes

Live Vaccines. You should not receive any live vaccines while on Kevzara.

Do not use Kevzara if you are allergic to Kevzara or to any of its ingredients. 

Kevzara 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 Kevzara, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

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

  • are allergic to Kevzara or any of its ingredients
  • have or have had diverticulitis
  • have or have had stomach ulcers
  • have any liver disease
  • plan to receive any vaccinations
  • plan to have any surgery while on Kevzara
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding

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

Kevzara and Pregnancy

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

There are no well-done studies that have been done in humand with Kevzara. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given Kevzara and some babies were born with problems. Therefore Kevzara should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risks to the unborn baby.

Kevzara and Lactation

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

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

Kevzara Usage

Take Kevzara exactly as prescribed. 

Kevzara is an injection given just below the skin every 2 weeks for the treatment of RA. You should let the syringe warm at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to administration. Do not inject in areas where the skin is tender or broken. 

If you miss a dose, do not double the next dose to make up for the missed one. 

Kevzara Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. 

The recommended dose of Kevzara is 200 mg injection just below the skin every 2 weeks. Your doctor may decrease the dose due to side effects. 

Kevzara Overdose

If you administer too much Kevzara, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Kevzara should be kept in the refrigerator. Do not shake. Discard after 14 days if kept at room temperature. 

Kevzara FDA Warning

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Avoid use of Kevzara in patients with an active infection.

Reported infections include:

  • Active tuberculosis. Patients should be tested for latent tuberculosis before Kevzara use and during therapy. Treatment should be started if necessary before starting Kevzara.
  • Invasive fungal infections. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present spread throughout the body, rather than localized to one area.
  • Bacterial, viral and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.

Closely monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection during treatment with Kevzara. If a serious infection develops, interrupt Kevzara until the infection is controlled.

Consider the risks and benefits of treatment with Kevzara prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.