What is Mavenclad Uses, warnings & interactions
Complete a free online enrollment application to find out if you’re eligible to pay only $49 per month for your Mavenclad medication.
Get started today
Mavenclad (cladribine) is a disease-modifying therapy that is manufactured by EMD Serono, Inc. It was approved in 2019 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain types of relapsing-remitting forms of MS (multiple sclerosis). MS is a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and interferes with the communication between your brain and other parts of your body.
If your doctor has prescribed Mavenclad to you, you may want to know more about what it is and how it works. Here we’ll explain what Mavenclad is used for, how it works, its side effects, and more.
What is Mavenclad used for?
Mavenclad is a purine antimetabolite used to treat certain relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), including relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and active secondary progressive MS, in adults. It is typically used in patients who have failed or could not tolerate other MS treatments.
You should not use this medication if you have clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).
How does Mavenclad work?
The way Mavenclad works to treat multiple sclerosis is not fully understood. Mavenclad targets certain types of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes typically help fight off infections. In multiple sclerosis, lymphocytes attack the myelin sheath of the nerves in your central nervous system. This leads to nerve damage and symptoms associated with MS. Mavenclad reduces the number of lymphocytes your body produces which is thought to help reduce lesions and other MS symptoms. This also decreases your risk of relapse.
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Mavenclad?
Before taking Mavenclad
Before taking Mavenclad, tell your healthcare provider about your medical conditions, including:
- Active infection
- Heart failure
- Kidney or liver problems
- Are taking medications that suppress your immune system or blood cells
- Have had a recent vaccination
- History of cancer
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
How to take Mavenclad
- Read the Drug Information with Boxed Warning and Medication Guide that comes with Mavenclad
- Take this medication exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes it. Do not change your dose or stop taking Mavenclad without talking to them first.
- Mavenclad is taken as 2 yearly courses of treatment. You will take 2 cycles of 4 or 5 days of medication around 1 month apart. Your dose will be determined by your doctor based on your body weight.
- Swallow Mavenclad tablets whole with water. You should take Mavenclad immediately after opening the blister pack. You can take this medication with or without food at least 3 hours apart from any other medication.
- Make sure your hands are dry when handling this medication and wash them right after. If you get Mavenclad on your skin or any surface, wash it immediately with water.
- If you miss a dose of Mavenclad, take it immediately if it is the same day. If it has been a day before you remember, take the missed dose the next day. Do not take extra doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
You should not use Mavenclad if you have an allergy to cladribine or any inactive ingredients in this product. You should also avoid this medication if you have:
- A current malignancy
- Pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant or are breastfeeding
- HIV infection
- Active chronic infection
- You should be monitored for low lymphocyte counts (lymphopenia) during and after treatment with Mavenclad.
- You should be treated for any active infection before starting this medication. You should also be vaccinated for varicella zoster virus (chickenpox and shingles). You should have live-attenuated or live vaccines at least 4 to 6 weeks before starting this medication.
- You may receive prophylactic treatment for herpes if you have low lymphocyte counts.
- Your doctor should take blood tests to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) and white blood cell counts before, during, and after Mavenclad treatment.
- Monitor and discontinue if you have any signs of liver injury.
- Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you begin your first and second yearly treatment course to make sure you aren’t pregnant.
Mavenclad drug interactions
When Mavenclad is taken with other medications, it may change how Mavenclad works or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your doctor if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with Mavenclad, including:
- Antiviral and HIV medications
- BCRP or ENT/CNT inhibitors such as nelfinavir and gefitinib
What are some possible side effects of Mavenclad?
The most common side effects of Mavenclad seen in clinical trials when compared to placebo include:
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Hair loss
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
Mavenclad can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Serious, life-threatening allergic reactions (hives, swelling of the face or throat, and shortness of breath)
- Increased risk of cancer
- Kidney toxicity
- Low platelet counts
- Herpes zoster (shingles)
- Liver injury
- Serious infections such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
- Graft-versus-host-disease with blood transfusion
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible side effects you experience while taking Mavenclad. You can report your adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Your doctor can prescribe other medications if Mavenclad is not right for you. They will vary by factors such as side effects and cost. Some alternative FDA-approved treatment options include:
Can you take Mavenclad while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
Mavenclad should not be used in pregnant women. If you can become pregnant, you should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose. You should also use a barrier method of birth control during treatment and for at least a month after the last dose. You should not breastfeed while on this medication and for at least 10 days after your last dose. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Why can’t you take Mavenclad for 2 years after finishing treatment?
You will take 2 cycles of 4 or 5 treatment days of Mavenclad about a month apart. You will then not take it for 10 months and then repeat the treatment cycle. After this second treatment course, you will not take Mavenclad for at least 2 years as it can increase your risk of developing malignancies.
Is Mavenclad a type of chemotherapy?
Mavenclad is a type of chemotherapy called an antimetabolite. However, it is not used to treat any type of cancer. The active ingredient in Mavenclad, cladribine, is also used to treat hairy cell leukemia.
Does Mavenclad cause cancer?
Mavenclad can increase your risk of cancer. You should not use this medication if you have an active malignancy or a history of cancer.
Does Mavenclad cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not a side effect that has been reported with the use of Mavenclad. It can cause a decreased appetite so it may cause weight loss, although it is not a common side effect.
How much does Mavenclad cost?
Currently, there is no generic Mavenclad available on the market. The average cost for #4 tablets of Mavenclad 10mg is over $36,000. However, you can save on brand-name drugs like Mavenclad through NiceRx if eligible for assistance.
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.