Managing Cerezyme Infusions
Although Cerezyme is not a cure for Type 1 Gaucher disease (it does not correct the underlying genetic defect), regular treatment can help reduce, relieve or reverse some signs and symptoms. In order to continue to benefit from the treatment, you need to receive ongoing intravenous infusions, even though you may feel better. If therapy stops, Gaucher cells may build up again and symptoms may come back.
Still, treatment with Cerezyme doesn’t mean you should stop all daily activities. If an opportunity arises for you to take a vacation; go to camp, attend college, or make a permanent move, talk to your doctor about developing a plan for treatment while you are away. Genzyme Care Coordination will help arrange for infusions services at your destination.
Plan ahead to find a proper facility or qualified health care providers to administer any necessary infusions, as well as to arrange for an appropriate supply of Cerezyme therapy. You may also want to check to see that insurance will cover care for you while traveling. To ensure appropriate treatment, you may want to consider planning care well in advance of travel or a move, as it can sometimes take several months to make all the necessary arrangements.
Plan ahead for travel
Type 1 Gaucher disease doesn’t have to stop you from traveling. You just need to do some advance planning. After consulting with your doctor about your plans, contact Genzyme Care Coordination to help with the logistics of your trip. They can help you find a proper facility or qualified health care provider to administer any necessary infusions, as well as to arrange for an appropriate supply of Cerezyme therapy at your destination. They can also help you find out if insurance will cover care while you are traveling.
As these arrangements can take several months to coordinate, it's best to make your plans well in advance of travel or a move.
Genzyme Care Coordination
Genzyme Care Coordination is a free, confidential service. Through this service, Genzyme Case Managers, who are healthcare professionals employed by Genzyme, can help you understand insurance issues, help arrange for treatment when you are away from home, answer your questions on Gaucher disease and Cerezyme, and provide you with educational materials.
For more information, go to Genzyme Care Coordination.
Indication & Usage
Cerezyme® (imiglucerase for injection) is indicated for long-term enzyme replacement therapy for pediatric and adult patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease that results in one or more of the following conditions:
- anemia (low red blood cell count)
- thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count)
- bone disease
- hepatomegaly or splenomegaly (enlarged liver or spleen)
Important Safety Information
Approximately 15% of patients have developed immune responses (antibodies) to Cerezyme during the first year of therapy. These patients have a higher risk of an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity). Your doctor may periodically test for the presence of antibodies. Serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have been reported in less than 1% of patients. Symptoms suggestive of allergic reaction happened in approximately 7% of patients, and include itching, flushing, hives, swelling, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing, cyanosis (a bluish discoloration of the skin due to diminished oxygen), and low blood pressure. If you have had an allergic reaction to Cerezyme, you and your doctor should use caution if you continue to receive treatment with Cerezyme.
High blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) and pneumonia have been observed in less than 1% of patients during treatment with Cerezyme. These are also known complications of Gaucher disease regardless of treatment. If you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, with or without fever, contact your doctor.
Approximately 14% of patients have experienced side effects related to treatment with Cerezyme. Some of these reactions occur at the site of injection such as discomfort, itching, burning, swelling or uninfected abscess. Other side effects, each of which was reported by less than 2% of patients, include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, headache, fever, dizziness, chills, backache, and rapid heart rate. Temporary swelling in the legs has also been observed with drugs like Cerezyme.
Please see Full Prescribing Information (PDF).