Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
This article discusses what Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is and what it is used for. It also covers possible side effects, whether it causes male infertility and what other issues a man could face while looking to conceive.
What is Ocrevus?
Before starting Ocrevus treatment, it is important to understand how the drug works. It is a chimeric antibody that targets the CD20 receptor on the human immune system. The drug is given as an intravenous infusion. It is recommended to be given every six months by a healthcare professional. Although side effects are uncommon with Ocrevus, some patients may experience allergic reactions that could require urgent medical attention. To prevent this, you should follow your healthcare professional's instructions closely and report any symptoms to your physician.
Because Ocrevus weakens part of the immune system, it increases the risk of infections. In particular, it increases the risk of developing herpes, but this is not the only side effect. Symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, eye redness, and pain. Herpes infections can be very serious, affecting the brain and eyes.
Ocrevus is safe and effective in adults, although it can increase the risk of hepatitis B infection in children. People with active hepatitis B virus infection or a history of life-threatening allergic reactions should not take Ocrevus. Those with an allergy to certain substances should also tell their healthcare provider if they have ever had a reaction to a medication before.
Ocrelizumab is a recombinant human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. It is approved for the treatment of adults with relapsing or progressive multiple sclerosi (MS). It has been shown to reduce relapse rates in pivotal trials and slow the rate of disability progression compared to placebo. It is also well tolerated, and is considered safe for long-term use.
Ocrevus is administered via infusion, and the procedure lasts between four and six hours. The first two infusions are 2.5 hours long each. Subsequent infusions are usually scheduled every six months. Patients can enjoy heated blankets and hot/cold packs as they wait. During the procedure, doctors monitor vital signs and make sure the patient is comfortable.
While Ocrevus is considered to be safe, it does increase the risk of malignancy. In clinical trials, it was found that the incidence of malignancies was higher in patients treated with the drug than in patients who received REBIF. Furthermore, patients should consult the FDA-approved patient labeling to learn about signs and symptoms of an infusion reaction. These symptoms may occur up to 24 hours after the infusion. If they experience any of these, it is important to contact their healthcare provider right away.
What is Ocrevus Used For?
Ocrelizumab is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (RRMS). It is not a cure for RRMS, but it can help manage symptoms. Ocrelizumab is an immunotherapy that blocks the immune system's ability to produce antibodies.
Ocrevus is an FDA-approved treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug works by attaching to a specific protein on B cells called CD20. These cells are the major components of the inflammation associated with MS. The drug is designed to stop the immune system from attacking myelin, which surrounds nerve cells. This can lead to muscle weakness and numbness and may affect your ability to walk. It can also affect your vision.
Patients must tell their healthcare provider about their history of hepatitis B and any vaccinations they may have had. They should also be sure to tell their healthcare provider about any herbal or vitamin supplements they may be taking. If they are pregnant, they should use birth control during the course of treatment and for 6 months following the treatment.
Although Ocrevus is well-tolerated, it may have side effects. Some may be mild, while others may be more severe. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your healthcare provider and notify the FDA. You should also discuss any allergies you may have with your healthcare provider. This way, your health care provider can ensure that the treatment is safe for you.
Ocrevus is given by intravenous infusion. The first dose is usually given in two 300-mg infusions two weeks apart, with subsequent doses given in a single 600-mg infusion. Before each infusion, patients are pre-medicated with anti-inflammatory steroids and antihistamines to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. The infusion lasts between two and four and a half hours, depending on the amount of medication given.
Ocrevus health risks and side effects
If you are thinking about starting a family, you should be aware of the risks of Ocrevus. One of the most important precautions when starting Ocrevus that you must see a specialist. Your physician should be well trained in this treatment and have access to the necessary medical support to ensure your safety.
Before starting treatment, you should be pre-medicated with an antipyretic. In addition, your doctor may prescribe premedication with Ocrevus to lower the risk of an allergic reaction. Ocrevus is given in two separate intravenous infusions, the first 600 mg is given as an initial dose, and the second 300 mg is given at a later time.
Before starting Ocrevus, your physician should check your immunization history and recommend a specific vaccination schedule. If your physician recommends vaccination, you should complete it at least 6 weeks before the treatment. You should also use birth control while taking Ocrevus treatment and for at least 6 months afterward.
Potential side effects of Ocrevus is a weakened immune system and reduced sperm count. Corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, can also weaken the immune system when taken in large doses. Other MS medications may also affect the immune system.
Ocrevus is contraindicated in people with active hepatitis B virus infection or a history of life-threatening infusion reactions.
The drug is generally safe and has a relatively low risk of side effects, however, for some people, Ocrevus can cause serious side effects, including an increased risk of infections.
The symptoms of an infection can include a fever, chills, cough, and genital sores. They can also include a skin rash and pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. In some cases, patients may also experience eye redness and pain.
Ocrelizumab is a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that targets the CD20 marker on B lymphocytes. Because it inhibits the immune system, it is considered an immunosuppressive drug. There are different reasons that a doctor may prescribe Ocrelizumab.
Besides the side effects, Ocrelizumab can increase your risk of getting certain cancers, including breast cancer. It is not safe for women to breastfeed while using this medication. For this reason, pregnant women must use effective birth control during treatment and for six months after the last dose. The drug is given via an intravenous infusion.
Does Ocrevus Cause Male Infertility?
Findings from a report investigating the effects of MS and its treatments on male fertility didn't find a relationship between Ocrevus or any negative sperm parameters over a 12 month trial.
Possible Causes of Male Infertility
Infertility can be caused by a number things, including chromosomal abnormalities, low testosterone levels, and a blockage of the testicles. Other causes include physical trauma and diabetes. In some cases, surgery can correct the problem. Another problem may be retrograde ejaculation, which can be caused by diabetes, certain medications, or surgery. In rare cases, genetic disorders may also cause male infertility.
Erectile dysfunction is another common cause of male infertility. It can result in problems with sexual intercourse such as painful or ejaculation. Certain medications can also lead to infertility, including blood pressure medicines. A low libido, also known as a low sex drive, can also affect a man's fertility.
Sexually transmitted diseases and genital infections are other causes of male infertility. Infections can block sperm transport. These issues may be the result of a physical problem, including hormone imbalances and blockages of the testicles.
Men suffering from infertility should visit a doctor to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. A doctor can prescribe medication or injections to help improve sperm production. Treatment may also include a change in diet or lifestyle. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help to keep hormone levels balanced and improve the sperm quality.
Multiple sclerosis and its treatments, including Ocrevus have not been associated with male infertility in the available research. However, there are many alternative causes of male infertility that must be considered and diagnosed, upon a correct diagnosis it can then be treated.
Health practitioners will recommend in all instances for anyone looking to conceive to eat healthily and exercise regularly.