Psoriasis Home > Amevive Warnings and Precautions

If you have an infection, liver disease, or a history of cancer, tell your doctor before starting Amevive. This medication suppresses the immune system, which means it may not be suitable for everyone. Warnings and precautions for Amevive also extend to people with allergies, women who are pregnant, and people considering getting a live vaccine. You should avoid Amevive if you have HIV or AIDS.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to receiving Amevive® (alefacept), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
  • A history of tuberculosis or hepatitis B
  • Any current infection
  • Infections that come and go, such as cold sores
  • Any disease that affects the immune system, such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, or AIDS
  • A history of any type of cancer
  • Plans to receive vaccinations
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, liver failure, or cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Amevive

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving Amevive include the following:
  • This medication lowers the level of certain T-cells, which are important immune system cells. Having low T-cells increases your risk for serious infections. Your healthcare provider should check your CD4+ T-cell counts (using a simple blood test) before you start a course of Amevive and every two weeks while you are receiving the injections.
    If your cell count is low, you will need to stop this medication temporarily, and weekly monitoring will be recommended. If your cell count remains low for a month or more, you should permanently stop taking Amevive.
  • Medications like Amevive may increase the risk of cancer because they suppress the immune system. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have a history of cancer, or even just a family history of it.
  • You should probably not receive live vaccines while taking Amevive. Talk to your healthcare provider before receiving any vaccines while taking this medication.
  • Amevive can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Amevive Interactions).
  • People taking Amevive should not receive phototherapy at the same time.
  • A few cases of liver damage possibly related to Amevive have been reported. It is not yet clear if these cases were actually related to the medication or not.
  • In rare cases, Amevive can cause serious allergic reactions.
  • Amevive is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Amevive and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if Amevive passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Amevive and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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