The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is conducting a review  into the safety of the MS drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada).

The EMA has launched the review: ‘following new reports of immune-mediated conditions (caused by the body’s defence system not working properly) and problems with the heart and blood vessels with the medicine, including fatal cases.’

Until the review is complete, the EMA instructs health professionals to prescribe alemtuzumab for the first time only in cases of highly active MS where other treatment options are unsuitable or have not worked.

Symptoms to look out for if you take alemtuzumab

If you currently take alemtuzumab and you do not experience side effects, you can continue with the treatment. If you experience any of the side effects listed below whilst taking alemtuzumab, seek immediate medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about the treatment, discuss your options with a qualified health professional.

  • Sudden heart problems such as trouble breathing and chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Drooping of the face
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Weakness on one side
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than usual
  • Skin rash
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands