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Monoclonal Antibody

Brand names:


Other names:


Often used for:

Decreasing pain episodes in sickle cell disease

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What is crizanlizumab?

Crizanlizumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. This medicine helps to keep blood cells from sticking together by attaching to the protein P-selectin.

Crizanlizumab helps decrease the number of pain episodes for people with sickle cell disease. These pain episodes are known as vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs). They happen when blood cells clump together and block blood flow.

This medicine is for patients ages 16 and older. It is given by IV infusion into a vein. This happens at the hospital. The infusion takes 30 minutes. Patients are monitored during and after the infusion to watch for infusion-related side effects.

The first two infusions are given two weeks apart. After that, the infusions are given every 4 weeks.

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Given into a vein by IV

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Possible side effects

  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Infusion-related reactions: Symptoms may include pain, fever, chills, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, upset stomach, diarrhea, and itching. These symptoms may happen during the infusion or up to 24 hours later.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, hives, itching, chills, fever, headache, muscle ache, shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the throat, and swelling of the face or neck.

Not all patients who get crizanlizumab will have these side effects, and there might be others not listed. Some side effects can be severe. Please report any symptoms or side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Some patients may have a reaction to this medicine. Your doctor will give you other medicine to help decrease the risk of these side effects.
  • Let your care team know about any symptoms during or after the infusion. Some infusion reactions need immediate medical care.
  • Tell your care team about all medicines, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
  • Let your care team know if you are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding. It is not known if crizanlizumab may cause harm during pregnancy.