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Specialty Drug

Velaglucerase Alfa

Velaglucerase alfa is a man-made form of an enzyme that is missing in patients with Gaucher's disease. It is used to treat the symptoms of Gaucher's disease. It is not a cure. Compare enzyme replacement therapies.
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What is Vpriv?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)VPRIV

Therapeutic ClassificationsEnzyme Replacement

Pharmacologic ClassificationsEnzyme

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OverviewTOP

Velaglucerase alfa injection is used to treat type 1 Gaucher's disease. This disease is caused by the lack of a certain enzyme, glucocerebrosidase, in the body. This enzyme is necessary for the body to use fats correctly, and fats will build up in certain areas of the body if the enzyme is not present. Velaglucerase alfa replaces the missing enzyme to help the body process fats.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child this medicine in a hospital or clinic. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

You or your child may also receive medicines to help prevent unwanted effects from the injection.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

AllergiesTOP

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

PediatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of velaglucerase alfa injection in children 4 to 17 years of age. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 4 years of age.

GeriatricTOP

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of velaglucerase alfa injection in the elderly.

PregnancyTOP

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast FeedingTOP

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

PrecautionsTOP

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If you or your child develop a skin rash, hives, or any allergic reaction to this medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

This medicine may cause a rare but serious type of an allergic reaction called an infusion reaction. This can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child start to have a cough, difficulty with swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, headaches, wheezing, trouble with breathing, chest tightness, swelling in your face or hands, fever, chills, itching or hives, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or lightheadedness or faintness while you are receiving this medicine.

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