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More on Raptiva's New Label

By November 1, 2008

The FDA requires all prescription drugs to have a "label", that sheet of paper, folded more times than an origami figure with print so fine you need a magnifier to read it which is stuffed into the box that your medicines come in. Recently the FDA required Raptiva to changed its label to include some new warnings. One of which was already mentioned here: a case of PML or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy has been reported. Other serious infections including bacterial sepsis, viral meningitis and fungal infections have also been reported. Finally, although not FDA approved for people under 18, there are animal studies which raise concerns that use of Raptiva in children under 14 could in theory lead to permanent suppression of the body's immune system.

Should you stop Raptiva in view of these changes? It would appear that Raptiva like all biologics does indeed increase the risk of infections. This risk should be weighed against the benefits it provides. Other options for those wishing to avoid biologics include Soriatane or Phototherapy.

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