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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Alefacept (Injection)

Alefacept (Injection)

Treats moderate to severe psoriasis. This medicine is an immunosuppressant.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to alefacept.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles or through a needle placed in one of your veins.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine is usually given once a week for 12 weeks.
  • You may not see improvement in your skin right away. However, your psoriasis may continue to get better even after you have stopped using this medicine.
  • After you finish your 12 weeks of treatment, you must wait at least another 12 weeks before you can receive more medicine. Some people may not need more medicine after the first 12-week treatment. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor, pharmacist, or treatment clinic for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicines that weaken the immune system (such as steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation). Make sure your doctor knows if you are also receiving phototherapy (light or laser therapy) for your psoriasis.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving alefacept. Vaccines may not work as well while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have HIV or AIDS.
  • This medicine lowers the number of certain kinds of blood cells in your body. This means you may get infections more easily. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of infection before you start using this medicine. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back. Call your doctor if you think you have an infection while using this medicine.
  • A small number of people who have used this medicine have developed cancer. This is rare. Make sure your doctor knows if you have had cancer before. Talk about this risk with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • For women: Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while using this medicine or within 8 weeks after you stop using this medicine.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain, headache, chills, and sinus (face and forehead) pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Pain, swelling, hardness, or mild bleeding where the shot was given
  • Sore throat, cough
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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