Generic Name: Sarilumab
Class: Biologic (monoclonal antibody/mAb)
Availability: Prescription only
Molecular Formula: C6388H9918N1718O1998S44
Substance UNII: NU90V55F8I
What is Kevzara?
Kevzara is the brand name for sarilumab, a prescription-only, injectable biologic. Specifically, it is a monoclonal antibody.
What is Kevzara Used For?
Kevzara is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when adult patients don’t respond well to other forms of treatment. Patients may use this drug alone or in combination with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate (Trexall).
How Does Kevzara Work?
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) can act as a pro-inflammatory cytokine. In other words, it can function as an inflammation-promoting immune response. Experts believe sarilumab works by binding to IL-6 receptors, thereby blocking IL-6 inflammatory signalling. This blocking is thought to produce the drug’s anti-inflammatory effects.
How Long Does it Take for Kevzara to Work?
It can take anywhere from hours to weeks for users to feel this medication’s effects.
Do Not Use Kevzara If:
There are some instances where use of Kevzara is not recommended, dose should be adjusted, or patients require close monitoring. These cases may include but not limited to:
- Patients with active infections
- Hypersensitivities to either sarilumab or other ingredients in Kevzara
- Patients with gastrointestinal perforation
- Patients with diverticulitis
- Patients on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids
- Patients with neutropenia or thrombocytopenia
- Patients with cancer or malignancy
- Patients with tuberculosis
- Patients with liver disease or otherwise impaired liver function
- Recent use of live vaccines
- Patients who are elderly
- Patients who are on medications that may have drug interactions with Kevzara
- Patients who have or have had herpes zoster or hepatitis
Note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other cases where use of this drug is not advisable or standard usage requires modification. Always talk to your doctor before starting Kevzara.