Where is Alefacept used?

Alefacept is indicated for the treatment of moderate-severe chronic plaque psoriasis. This is used in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. This medicine reduces immune cell counts which could increase the chance of developing malignancy or infection. This is available for intramuscular injection.

Alefacept is an immunosuppressive dimeric fusion protein. It reduces lymphocyte counts (T-cells) thus treating the cause of psoriasis. This is lyophilized powder as well for intramuscular administration. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medication.

How does Alefacept work?

Alefacept is an injectable drug that suppresses the immune system. Scientists believe that psoriasis is produced by a growth in the making of one type of immune cell. It is the T-lymphocytes that react to the connection of a stimulant to the lymphocyte. The T-lymphocytes make the skin cells develop rapidly. The fast development of the skin cells makes the skin plaques of psoriasis. This lessens the stimulation and making of T-lymphocytes. It happens by attaching to the site on the T-lymphocytes where the antigen attaches. This inhibits the antigen from binding and activating the T-lymphocytes. This also decreases the lifespan of T-lymphocytes. That already has been made by increasing the activity of another type of immune cell that kills T-lymphocytes.

How is Alefacept taken?

The recommended dose for this treatment is 15 mg by intramuscular injection. This is usually given once a week for 12 weeks. The procedure can be repeated after a 12-week interval. It is without treatment if the patient’s T-lymphocyte counts are within the normal range. Do not twice the dose to avoid another complication. Follow your doctor’s prescription promptly.

Your nurse or doctor will show you the best places on your body to give your injection. Each shot gives at least 1 inch away from where the last one was injected. Prevent from injecting into the same place two times in a row. Do not inject the medicine into skin that is bruised, tender, or hard.

Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container. Use a disposable needle only once. Each single-use vial of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose. You can ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to properly dispose of used materials during treatment.

What are the possible side effects of Alefacept?

  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Itching
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site

What are the precautions in taking Alefacept?

  • Before taking this, inform your doctor if you have any allergies or current medications.
  • Consult first your doctor if you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
  • This medicine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood clot. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill or bleed from an injury. Serious infections may occur during treatment with this medicine. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.
  • Do not share this with others who have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Keep this away from the reach of children and pets.