Your doctor has ordered alglucerase to help treat your illness. The drug will be added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter into your vein for 1 to 2 hours. Your doctor will determine how often you will receive this medication.
Alglucerase is an enzyme used to help treat the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Gaucher's disease. Alglucerase is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
Before administering alglucerase,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alglucerase, imiglucerase (Cerezyme), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking alglucerase, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking alglucerase.
Before you administer alglucerase, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Do not shake the solution. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason. Do not administer it more often or for longer periods than your doctor tells you. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.
Alglucerase may cause side effects. Tell your health care provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach discomfort
- upset stomach
If you observe the following symptom in your child, call your health care provider immediately:
- signs of maturing sexually before the age of 10
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
- Your health care provider will probably give you a several-day supply of alglucerase at a time. Discard any unused medication.
- Alglucerase needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.
- Do not allow alglucerase to freeze.
Your health care provider may provide you with directions on how to prepare each dose. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly. Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of the reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
If you are receiving alglucerase in your vein, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.