Campath Side Effects
You can expect to experience some type of side effect when taking Campath. Commonly reported ones include fever, hives, and chills. Fortunately, these problems are usually mild and easily treated. However, some reactions to Campath should be reported to your healthcare provider right away, including unexplained swelling, difficulty breathing, and unusual bruising.
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Just like any medicine, Campath® (alemtuzumab) can cause side effects, some of which can be quite significant. Although not everyone who takes the medication will have problems, most people will experience some type of adverse reaction during treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can manage some of these side effects.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Campath. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Campath has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people receiving Campath were carefully documented and compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people taking a different leukemia medication. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects different occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medicine.
In these studies, the most common Campath side effects included:
- Low white blood cell counts -- in up to 97 percent of people
- Low red blood cell counts (anemia) -- up to 76 percent
- Infections -- up to 74 percent
- Low platelet counts -- up to 71 percent
- Fever -- up to 69 percent
- Chills -- up to 53 percent
- Hives -- up to 16 percent
- Low blood pressure (hypotension) -- up to 16 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 3 to 14 percent of people, included:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heart rate
- Skin redness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Body pain
- Decreased appetite
- Tightness in the chest
- Sores or ulcers in the mouth
- Sensitivity to touch, leading to unpleasant or painful sensations.