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What You Should Know About the New Ocrevus Drug

April 12, 2017

The new FDA approved drug, Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), has hyped up the multiple sclerosis (MS) community. Besides knowing that it’s proven to slow down the progression of the disease, there are still more to learn about this drug.

For one, it was approved on March 28 and it is used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). It is taken through an IV infusion and targets B-cells in the blood that are responsible for demyelination. The effects of this drug are proven through clinical trials with PPMS and RRMS patients. The results showed that PPMS patients experienced a 24% reduction in disease progression and a decrease in brain lesions. Trials with RRMS patients experienced a 47% decrease in relapses and up to 95% reduction in active inflammation.

The drug will cost you $65,000 yearly, which should be covered by your medical insurance. Side effects of the drug include itching, rashes, facial flushing, fever, and headaches. Patients are monitored when first on Ocrevus. Other risks involved with the drug include a possible increased risk of infections, herpes, cancer, specifically breast cancer, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and hepatitis B virus reactivation.