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Alefacept (By injection)

Alefacept (a-LEF-a-sept)

Treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This medicine is an immune suppressant.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to alefacept, or if you have HIV, AIDS, or a history of cancer.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine is usually given once a week for 12 weeks. If you need another 12-week treatment, you must wait at least 12 weeks between each set of treatments. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how alefacept works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Blood thinner medicine, such as warfarin
    • Cyclosporine
    • Migraine medicine, such as ergotamine
    • Theophylline
  • Tell your doctor if you are also receiving phototherapy (light or laser therapy) for your psoriasis.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while you are receiving this medicine or within 8 weeks after you stop using it.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, cancer, chronic infection, or low white blood cells levels (lymphopenia).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • A small risk for cancer (usually skin cancer)
    • Increased risk for infection from a weakened immune system
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • You may not see improvement in your skin right away. Your psoriasis may continue to get better even after you have stopped receiving this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever, chills, headache, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Severe diarrhea or painful or difficult urination
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Chills, without fever or other symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Mild nausea
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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