MabCampath is used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a cancer of the lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). It is used in patients for whom treatment combinations including fludarabine (another medicine used in leukaemia) are not appropriate.

Why have I been prescribed MabCampath?

MabCampath is used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), a cancer of the lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). It is used in patients for whom treatment combinations including fludarabine (another medicine used in leukaemia) are not appropriate.

How does it work?

The active substance in MabCampath, alemtuzumab, is a monoclonal antibody. A monoclonal antibody is an antibody (a type of protein) that has been designed to recognise and bind to a specific structure (called an antigen) that is found in certain cells in the body. In CLL, too many lymphocytes are produced. Alemtuzumab has been designed to bind to a glycoprotein (a protein that is coated with sugar molecules) that is found on the surface of lymphocytes. As a result of this binding, the lymphocytes die, and this helps to control the CLL.

When and how do I take it?

MabCampath goes into one of your veins via a drip.
Each time you are given MabCampath, it will take about 2 hours for all the solution to enter your blood.

What’s the dose?

MabCampath treatment may continue for up to 12 weeks depending on your progress.
During the first week, your doctor will increase the dose of MabCampath slowly to reduce the possibility of you having side effects and to allow your body to tolerate MabCampath better.
If you experience early side effects the initial smaller doses may be repeated until the effects go away or reduce. The doctor will carefully monitor you and decide what are the appropriate amounts of MabCampath to give during your whole treatment period.

Could it interact with other tablets?

You should inform your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, even those not prescribed.
In particular, you should not be given MabCampath within 3 weeks of taking any other anti-cancer agents.
Also, you should not be vaccinated with live viral vaccines during treatment and for at least 12 months after you have finished your treatment. Speak to your doctor before receiving any vaccinations.

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, MabCampath can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Your doctor may give you other medicines or change your dosage to help to reduce any side effects

Serious side effects, including difficulty in breathing, inflammation of the lungs, extreme shortness of breath, fainting, heart attack, autoimmune phenomena, low red blood cell and low blood platelet levels, infections, bleeding in the brain (intracranial haemorrhage) have occurred with fatal outcome. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
In addition, testing indicating the presence of antibodies that may destroy red blood cells (Coombs test) has been reported.

Very common side effects (seen in at least 1 in every 10 patients treated in clinical trials):

Usually one or more of these effects happen during the first week after the start of treatment:
Fever, shivering/chills, sweating, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, low blood pressure, low white/red blood cell levels, infections including pneumonia and blood poisoning, irritation and/or blistering of the mouth region, low blood platelet levels, tiredness, rash, itching, red raised lesions on the skin, shortness of breath, headache, diarrhoea and loss of appetite.

They are usually only mild or moderate problems and they gradually diminish during the course of treatment.

Common side effects (affects 1 to 10 patients in every 100 patients treated in clinical trials):
• high blood pressure, fast or slow heart rate, feeling your heart racing, blood vessel spasm
• becoming red in the face, bruising of the skin
• taste changes
• decreased sense of touch
• dizziness, sensation of spinning, fainting, shaking or trembling movements, feeling restless
• eye inflammation (e.g. conjunctivitis)
• pins and needles or burning sensation of the skin
• abnormal liver function, constipation, indigestion, passing abdominal gas
• inflammation, irritation and/or tightness of the lungs, throat and/or sinuses, too little oxygen
reaching the body organs, coughing, coughing up of blood
• abdominal bleeding (e.g. in the stomach and intestine)
• injection site reactions including redness, swelling, pain, bruising, inflammation
• generally feeling unwell, weakness, pain in various parts of the body (muscle, back, chest, bones, joints, stomach and intestine)
• weight loss, dehydration, thirst, swelling of the lower legs, temperature change sensation, low calcium or sodium blood levels
• flu-like symptoms
• abscess, skin redness or allergic skin reaction, blistering of the skin
• confusion, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

There are no known interactions between alcohol and MabCampath.

Always ask you doctor or pharmacist however as other medications you are taking may have a bearing on this.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

MabCampath must not be administered to patients who are pregnant, therefore if you:
• are pregnant or you think you may be pregnant, you should tell your doctor immediately.
• are of childbearing potential, then you should avoid becoming pregnant by using effective contraceptive methods before you start treatment, during treatment and for 6 months after treatment.

You should stop breast-feeding when you start your treatment and you should not begin breast-feeding again until at least 4 weeks after you have finished your treatment and you have consulted your doctor on the matter.


If you have any more questions please ask your Intervene Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.