How Does This Medicine Work?An antibody (also known as an immunoglobulin) is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies attach to antigens, which are proteins found on foreign substances that enter the body. Once attached, the antibody marks the substance for destruction by the immune system.
Arzerra is an antibody that is made in a laboratory (as opposed to a naturally occurring antibody). It works by binding to CD20, a specific antigen found on the surface of healthy cells and leukemia B cells (a type of white blood cell). By binding to the CD20 antigen on leukemia cells, Arzerra signals the immune system to attack and destroy the leukemia cells.
Is It Safe for Children to Use Arzerra?Arzerra is not approved for use in children (usually defined as individuals younger than 18 years of age), as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Arzerra in children.
Can Older Adults Use It?Arzerra has not been adequately studied in older adults, so it is unknown whether older adults will respond differently to this medication than younger age groups. Although this drug can be used in older adults, it should be used cautiously and with close monitoring until more information is known about its effects in older adults.
Off-Label Arzerra UsesOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for treating something other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This is called an "off-label" use. Arzerra may sometimes be used off-label to treat rheumatoid arthritis.