Your Campath dose will be based primarily on how well you tolerate the medication. This drug is given as an intravenous infusion. It is administered every other day, 3 times a week, for 12 weeks. Thirty minutes before each infusion, your healthcare provider will give you drugs to reduce the risk of infusion reactions. You will also be given "anti-infective" medicines.
The dose of Campath® (alemtuzumab) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on how well you tolerate the medication. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The standard recommended dosage of Campath for the treatment of leukemia is 30 mg a day, every other day, 3 times a week, for 12 weeks. However, the medication is started at a much lower amount and slowly increased to this recommended amount. This allows the body time to adjust to the medicine.
Therefore, the recommended initial dosage of Campath is 3 mg per day, until serious side effects do not occur. The amount is then increased to 10 mg per day. Once this amount is tolerated without serious side effects, the dose will be increased to the recommended 30 mg. The total duration of treatment is 12 weeks. Most people will reach the 30-mg dose within three to seven days of starting Campath.
Medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) 50 mg and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 500 to 1000 mg are normally given 30 minutes before the first Campath dose and with each increase. These help reduce the risk of an infusion reaction (a serious reaction to the medication that may occur during or shortly after receiving the dosage).
In addition, anti-infective medications, such as antibiotics and antifungal medications, will be given during treatment and for at least two months after treatment ends. This helps prevent certain serious infections from occurring.