Blincyto is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults and in children. ALL is a type of fast-growing blood cancer that starts in white blood cells. Blincyto can be used if either of the following applies:

  • The cancer is in remission* but can still be detected using a blood test.
  • The cancer returned or didn’t get better after a previous treatment.

For more information on who can use Blincyto, see the “Blincyto uses” section below.

* A person whose ALL is in remission isn’t experiencing any symptoms of cancer or hasn’t had any abnormal blood tests.

Drug details

Blincyto contains the active drug blinatumomab. It belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Blincyto works by helping your immune system cells attack cancer cells. (For more information, see the “How Blincyto works” section below.)

Blincyto comes as a powder inside single-use vials. The powder is mixed with a liquid to form a solution. Blincyto comes in one strength: 35 micrograms (mcg).

Blincyto is given by a healthcare professional as an intravenous infusion (an injection given into a vein over a period of time). You won’t give yourself doses of the drug. You may receive your Blincyto infusion in a hospital or clinic, or at home. For more information, see the “Blincyto dosage” section below.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Blincyto, see the “Blincyto uses” section below.

Blincyto contains the active drug blinatumomab. It’s a biologic drug that’s available only as a brand-name medication. Blincyto isn’t currently available in biosimilar form.

A biosimilar is a medication that’s similar to the brand-name biologic drug. Because biologic drugs are made from living cells, they can’t be copied exactly. Nonbiologic drugs are made from chemicals and can be copied exactly. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. So instead of generics, biologic drugs have biosimilars.

Biosimilars are considered as safe and effective as the brand-name biologic drug. Like generics, biosimilars usually cost less than brand-name medications.

Blincyto can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Blincyto. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Blincyto, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Blincyto, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Blincyto can include:

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Blincyto. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or see Blincyto’s medication guide.

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Blincyto aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* In clinical studies, this side effect was more common in people who used Blincyto with a corticosteroid called dexamethasone. Corticosteroids are medications that are used to treat inflammation.
** For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
† Cytokines are proteins that help the immune system work properly.
Blincyto has a boxed warning for this side effect.

Side effects in children

Blincyto is approved to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children of any age.

Some side effects of Blincyto may happen more frequently in children than in adults. These include the following mild side effects:

Serious side effects that may happen more frequently in children than adults include:

If you’re concerned about possible side effects of Blincyto in children, talk with your child’s doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of the drug with you.

Side effect details

Here are some details on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Cytokine release syndrome

Blincyto may cause cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Blincyto has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

CRS was one of the most common side effects in clinical studies of Blincyto. It happens when the cells in the immune system quickly release a large number of cytokines into the blood. Cytokines are proteins that help the immune system work properly. But too many cytokines can make the immune system overactive. This condition can be life threatening for some people.

Symptoms of CRS may include:

You’ll stay in the hospital during the first few days of the infusion part of the Blincyto cycle.* This allows your doctor to monitor you for serious side effects, such as CRS. To help lower your risk for CRS, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid, such as dexamethasone, in the following situations:

  • before your first Blincyto infusion in each dose cycle
  • before your Blincyto dose is increased
  • before restarting Blincyto after your infusion has been stopped for at least 4 hours

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of CRS while using Blincyto. If you have CRS, your doctor will stop your Blincyto infusion. Then they’ll prescribe a corticosteroid to help lessen the activity of your immune system. After your CRS is treated, your doctor may start your Blincyto again. Or they may switch you to a different treatment other than Blincyto.

* “Cycle” refers to receiving an infusion for a period of time followed by a short break in treatment. This allows the body to rest before starting the next cycle. For more information about Blincyto infusion cycles, see the “Blincyto dosage” section below.

Neurotoxicity

Blincyto may cause neurotoxicity (damage to the nervous system). The nervous system includes the brain and nerve cells. This was one of the most common side effects in clinical studies of the drug. This side effect can be life threatening. In fact, Blincyto has a boxed warning for this side effect. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Neurotoxicity from Blincyto can cause seizures, which can lead to loss of consciousness. For this reason, while you’re getting a Blincyto infusion, you shouldn’t perform activities that require you to be alert. This includes driving or operating heavy machinery. With Blincyto, infusions are given continuously over 28 days using an infusion pump.* So you may not be able to perform these activities for several weeks.

Blincyto can also cause damage to the protective layer around nerve cells. In clinical studies, people who used the leukemia† treatments below were more likely to develop this type of damage:

Below are a few other symptoms of nervous system damage:

  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • slurred speech
  • stroke
  • trouble hearing, seeing, or swallowing

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of nerve damage while using Blincyto. They may stop your Blincyto infusion until they determine the cause of your symptoms. If your condition doesn’t improve after stopping the drug, your doctor may switch you to a different treatment.

* For more information about how the drug is given, see the “How Blincyto is administered” section below.
† Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that typically affects white blood cells.

Infections

In clinical studies of Blincyto, serious infections were common.

Serious infections can be life threatening if they aren’t treated. Examples of serious infections that may happen with Blincyto include:

Symptoms of serious infections can include:

  • body aches
  • chills
  • fatigue (lack of energy)
  • fever
  • pain, redness, deepening of skin color, or swelling around the catheter
  • sepsis (an extreme response to infection that can lead to organ damage and death)

Your risk for getting serious infections from Blincyto is higher if you have certain other side effects, such as low levels of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). Your doctor will check your white blood cell counts periodically during your Blincyto treatment.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any symptoms of serious infections while using Blincyto. You can help lower your risk for infections by keeping the skin around your catheter clean. Your doctor may give you antibiotics before your Blincyto infusion to help prevent serious infections. They’ll also monitor you for signs of infection during treatment.

* A catheter is a small tube that’s inserted into the vein where your Blincyto infusions are given.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Blincyto.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Blincyto, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Blincyto.

Is Blincyto a chemotherapy drug?

No, Blincyto isn’t a chemotherapy drug.

Blincyto is a type of targeted therapy called a monoclonal antibody. It works by helping the immune system cells attack cancer cells. (For more information, see the “How Blincyto works” section below.)

Chemotherapy works differently from monoclonal antibodies. Chemotherapy affects all cells in the body that are quickly multiplying. Cancer cells usually multiply faster than healthy cells, so chemotherapy does destroy cancer cells. However, chemotherapy can still affect the healthy cells in the body. And this leads to many of the side effects from chemotherapy drugs.

Does Blincyto treat DLBCL?

No, Blincyto isn’t currently approved to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This is a type of fast-growing cancer that affects the lymph nodes. However, Blincyto may be used off-label for this purpose. Off-label drug use means using the drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Blincyto is approved to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is a type of fast-growing cancer that affects bone marrow. This is the spongy tissue inside your bones. (For more information, see the “Blincyto uses” section below.)

A clinical study found Blincyto effective for treating certain types of DLBCL. Additional studies of the drug for treating this type of cancer, such as this one, are ongoing.

If you have DLBCL and are interested in using Blincyto to treat your condition, talk with your doctor.

Why do I have to stay in the hospital when receiving doses of Blincyto?

Blincyto is given by a healthcare professional as an intravenous infusion (an injection given into a vein over a period of time). You won’t give yourself doses of the drug.

You’ll stay in the hospital during the first few days of your Blincyto cycle.* This allows your doctor to monitor you for serious side effects. (For more information, see the “Blincyto side effects” section above.)

To help lower your risk for serious side effects, your doctor may want to give you certain medications just before your Blincyto infusion starts. These include:

You may eventually be able to receive your Blincyto infusion at home. This depends on how well the drug works for you. Another factor in receiving treatment at home is whether you had any serious side effects during your infusions.

* “Cycle” refers to receiving an infusion for a period of time followed by a short break in treatment. This allows the body to rest before starting the next cycle. For more information about Blincyto infusion cycles, see the “Blincyto dosage” section below.

As with all medications, the cost of Blincyto can vary. To find current prices for Blincyto in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan and your location. It also depends on the cost of your visit to the hospital or clinic where you’ll receive your Blincyto doses.

Before approving coverage for Blincyto, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Blincyto, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Blincyto, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Amgen, the manufacturer of Blincyto, offers a program called Amgen Assist 360. This program offers ways to help lower the cost of the drug. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 888-4ASSIST (888-427-7478) or visit the program website.

Generic or biosimilar version

Blincyto contains the active drug blinatumomab. It’s a biologic drug that’s available only as a brand-name medication. Blincyto isn’t currently available in biosimilar form.

A biosimilar is a medication that’s similar to the brand-name biologic drug. Because biologic drugs are made from living cells, they can’t be copied exactly. Nonbiologic drugs are made from chemicals and can be copied exactly. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. So instead of generics, biologic drugs have biosimilars.

Biosimilars are considered as safe and effective as the brand-name biologic drug. Like generics, biosimilars usually cost less than brand-name medications.

The Blincyto dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Blincyto to treat
  • your age
  • your weight or body surface area, which is an estimate of body size
  • the side effects you experience

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Blincyto comes as a powder inside single-use vials. The powder is mixed with a liquid to form a solution. Blincyto comes in one strength: 35 micrograms (mcg).

Blincyto is given by a healthcare professional as an intravenous infusion (an injection given into a vein over a period of time). You won’t give yourself doses of the drug. You may receive your Blincyto infusion in a hospital or clinic, or at home.

Dosage for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blincyto is approved to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that also meets one of the following criteria:

  • The cancer is in remission* but can still be detected using a blood test.
  • The cancer returned or didn’t get better after a previous treatment.

The dosage of Blincyto you’ll receive depends on your weight in kilograms (kg) or your body surface area (BSA) in square meters (m2).† BSA is an estimate of a person’s body size.

* A person whose ALL is in remission isn’t experiencing any symptoms of cancer or hasn’t had any abnormal blood tests.
† If your dosage depends on your BSA, your doctor will calculate this for you.

ALL that’s in remission but can still be detected by a blood test

Blincyto is given in cycles. Each cycle consists of 28 days of treatment with Blincyto followed by 14 days without treatment.

The usual dosage for people who weigh at least 45 kg (about 99 pounds)* is 28 micrograms per day (mcg/d) on days 1 to 28.

For people who weigh less than 45 kg, the usual dosage is 15 micrograms per square meters per day (mcg/m2/d) on days 1 to 28. (The maximum recommended dose is 28 mcg/d.)

Your doctor will decide how many treatment cycles of Blincyto you need. They’ll give you Blincyto in a hospital for the first 3 days of your first treatment cycle. They’ll also monitor you in a hospital for the first 2 days of your second cycle. After that, you may be able to receive your Blincyto infusions in a clinic or at home.

* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).

ALL that returned or didn’t get better after a previous treatment

Blincyto is given in cycles. Each cycle consists of 28 days of treatment with Blincyto followed by 14 to 56 days without treatment.

For the first Blincyto cycle, the usual dosage for people who weigh at least 45 kg (about 99 lb)* is 9 mcg/d on days 1 to 7. This is followed by 28 mcg/d on days 8 to 28.

For people who weigh less than 45 kg, the usual dosage for the first Blincyto cycle is 5 mcg/m2/d on days 1 to 7. (The maximum recommended dosage during this time is 9 mcg/d.) This is followed by 15 mcg/m2/d on days 8 to 28. (For this period, the dosage shouldn’t exceed 28 mcg/d.)

For each Blincyto cycle after, the usual dosage for people who weigh at least 45 kg is 28 mcg/d on days 1 to 28. For people who weigh less than 45 kg, the usual dosage is 15 mcg/m2/d on days 1 to 28. (The maximum recommended dose for days 1 to 28 is 28 mcg/d.)

Your doctor will decide how many treatment cycles of Blincyto you need. They’ll give you Blincyto in a hospital for the first 9 days of your first treatment cycle. They’ll also monitor you in a hospital for the first 2 days of your second cycle. After that, you may be able to receive your Blincyto infusions in a clinic or at home.

* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).

Children’s dosage

Blincyto is approved to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children of any age.

The usual dosage of Blincyto for treating ALL in children is the same as the dosage used for adults. For dosage details, see the “Dosage for acute lymphoblastic leukemia” section above.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss an appointment to receive a Blincyto infusion, reschedule it as soon as possible.

To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment, try setting a reminder on your phone or downloading a reminder app. You can also download this treatment tracker from the drug manufacturer’s website.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

You may use Blincyto as a long-term treatment. The number of cycles you’ll receive depends on your exact condition and whether it’s improving with use of the drug. Your doctor will decide how long you need to keep using Blincyto.

Blincyto is approved to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in specific situations.* ALL is a type of fast-growing blood cancer that starts in white blood cells.

Blincyto is used to treat B-cell precursor ALL. This type of ALL produces a high number of immature white blood cells called B-cell lymphoblasts. (B-cell lymphoblasts aren’t able to fight infections as well as mature B cells.) The cancer must be CD19-positive, which means the B cells have a protein called CD19 on their surface.

Blincyto’s mechanism of action† involves the CD19 protein. Blincyto attaches to the CD19 protein on B cells. Blincyto also attaches to another protein called CD3 found on T cells. T cells are part of your immune system and help fight cancer. By attaching to both CD19 and CD3, Blincyto helps bring T cells to the cancer cells. This helps your immune system attack cancer cells.

* For more information, see the “Blincyto uses” section below.
† “Mechanism of action” is the way a drug works in the body.

How long does it take to work?

Blincyto starts working right away to treat your cancer. It might take a couple of Blincyto cycles* before the amount of cancer in your body decreases. Your doctor will perform tests to make sure the drug is working for you.

* “Cycle” refers to receiving an infusion for a period of time followed by a short break in treatment. This allows the body to rest before starting the next cycle. For more information about Blincyto infusion cycles, see the “Blincyto dosage” section below.

Blincyto is given as an intravenous infusion (an injection given into a vein over a period of time) by a healthcare professional. You won’t give yourself doses of the drug.

You’ll spend the first few days of each Blincyto cycle* in the hospital. This allows your doctor to monitor you for serious side effects from the drug.

When your hospital stay is complete, you’ll continue receiving Blincyto infusions in a clinic or at home. Your infusions will be controlled by a portable device called an infusion pump. A healthcare professional will adjust the settings of the pump to make sure you’re receiving the correct dose.

If your infusion pump stops working properly, tell the healthcare professional immediately. Don’t try to adjust the settings of your pump. If you do, you could accidentally give yourself too much or too little of Blincyto.

* “Cycle” refers to receiving an infusion for a period of time followed by a short break in treatment. This allows the body to rest before starting the next cycle. For more information about Blincyto infusion cycles, see the “Blincyto dosage” section below.

When it’s administered

The infusion part of each Blincyto treatment cycle lasts 28 days. Within each cycle, you’ll use multiple Blincyto infusion bags. How long a Blincyto infusion bag lasts varies. This can be 24 hours, 48 hours, or 7 days. You’ll receive the drug continuously until the bag runs out of medication.

When your Blincyto infusion bag is empty, a healthcare professional will change it for you. Your bag might be changed daily, every 2 days, or once a week. You may have to travel to a clinic to have your bag changed. Or a healthcare professional may come to your home and change the bag for you there.

Don’t try to change your own infusion bag. If your Blincyto infusion bag empties before your next appointment to have it changed, call your doctor right away.

To help make sure that you don’t miss an appointment to change your Blincyto infusion bag, try setting a reminder on your phone or downloading a reminder app. You can also download this treatment tracker from the drug manufacturer’s website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Blincyto to treat certain conditions. Blincyto may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Blincyto for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blincyto is approved to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is a type of fast-growing blood cancer that starts in white blood cells.

Blincyto is used to treat B-cell precursor ALL in adults and in children. This type of ALL produces a high number of immature white blood cells called B cell lymphoblasts. (B-cell lymphoblasts aren’t able to fight infections as well as mature B cells.) The cancer must be CD19-positive, which means the B cells have a protein called CD19 on their surface.

In addition, one of the following criteria must apply:

  • The cancer is in remission* but can still be detected using a blood test.
  • The cancer returned or didn’t get better after a previous treatment.

* A person whose ALL is in remission isn’t experiencing any symptoms of cancer or hasn’t had any abnormal blood tests.

Effectiveness for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blincyto has been found effective for treating the type of ALL described just above. Blincyto is a recommended treatment option in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s ALL treatment guidelines.

For more information on how Blincyto performed in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Blincyto and children

Blincyto is FDA-approved to treat a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children of any age. For more information, see the “Blincyto for acute lymphoblastic leukemia” section above.

To learn how well the drug worked for children in clinical studies, see Blincyto’s prescribing information.

To help lower your risk for serious side effects* from Blincyto, your doctor may prescribe other medications along with it. These are called premedications because they’re generally given just before a Blincyto infusion starts.

Below are a few premedications you may take with Blincyto:

You may also receive Blincyto along with other medications used to treat cancer. Talk with your doctor about the treatment options that are best for your condition.

* For information about possible side effects, see the “Blincyto side effects” section above.

There aren’t any known interactions between Blincyto and alcohol.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe for you to drink during Blincyto treatment.

Blincyto can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain vaccines.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Blincyto and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Blincyto. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Blincyto.

Before taking Blincyto, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of drugs that can interact with Blincyto include:

Blincyto and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Blincyto. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Blincyto.

Blincyto and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Blincyto. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Blincyto, talk with your doctor.

Blincyto and vaccines

You should not get a live vaccine within 2 weeks of starting Blincyto or while using the drug. After you stop taking Blincyto, you should continue avoiding live vaccines until your doctor says it’s safe to get them.

Live vaccines contain a weakened form of the viruses or bacteria they protect against. While you’re taking Blincyto, your immune system will be weaker than normal. This raises your risk for getting an infection from a live vaccine.

Examples of live vaccines include:

The manufacturer of Blincyto hasn’t provided recommendations for inactive (non-live) vaccines. These vaccines don’t contain any active forms of viruses or bacteria.

Before using Blincyto, talk with your doctor about whether you’re due to get any vaccines. They can recommend the best time for you to receive the vaccines you need before you start the drug.

You should not take Blincyto during pregnancy. There haven’t been any clinical studies of Blincyto in pregnancy. But based on the way it works in the body, Blincyto will likely cause harm to a developing fetus.

Before you start Blincyto, if you’re able to become pregnant, your doctor will give you a pregnancy test to make sure you aren’t pregnant.

Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while using Blincyto. And if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, tell your doctor before you use Blincyto. They’ll likely recommend a different treatment for you.

It isn’t safe to take Blincyto during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Blincyto.

For more information about taking Blincyto during pregnancy, see the “Blincyto and pregnancy” section above.

For females using Blincyto

If you’re female* and are able to become pregnant, you should use birth control during your Blincyto treatment. And you should continue using birth control for at least 48 hours after stopping Blincyto.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

For males using Blincyto

The manufacturer of Blincyto hasn’t given birth control recommendations for males* using the drug. If you’re a male using Blincyto and you’re sexually active with someone who is able to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can discuss your birth control needs while using this drug.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

It’s not known for sure if Blincyto can pass into breast milk. But there’s a risk of side effects from Blincyto if a child is given breastmilk that contains the drug. For this reason, you should not breastfeed while using Blincyto or for at least 48 hours after stopping treatment.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed while using Blincyto, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely recommend a different treatment for your condition.

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Blincyto may cause CRS. This happens when cells in the immune system quickly release a large number of cytokines into the blood. (Cytokines are proteins that help the immune system work properly.) CRS can cause symptoms such as fever, low blood pressure, and wheezing. In some cases, this condition can be life threatening. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of CRS while using Blincyto. They may temporarily stop your Blincyto treatment until your condition improves.

Neurotoxicity. Blincyto may cause neurotoxicity (damage to the nervous system, which includes the brain and nerve cells). This damage can lead to seizures as well as trouble hearing, seeing, or swallowing. For some people, this side effect can be life threatening. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of neurotoxicity while using Blincyto. They may stop your Blincyto infusion until your condition improves.

Other precautions

Before taking Blincyto, talk with your doctor about your health history. Blincyto may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Using certain leukemia treatments in the past. Before starting Blincyto, tell your doctor if you’ve had any leukemia treatments in the past. This includes having radiation therapy of the brain or taking medications such as methotrexate (Trexall) or cytarabine. People with a history of these treatments may have a higher risk for nerve damage from Blincyto. For more information, see the “Blincyto side effects” section above.
  • A history of infusion reactions. Some people may experience an infusion reaction after using Blincyto. This is a strong response by the body’s immune system that can happen during an infusion or shortly after. (For a list of possible symptoms, see the “Blincyto side effects” section above.) If you’ve had an infusion reaction from any other treatment in the past, you may be at a higher risk for this side effect. Before starting Blincyto, be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve ever had an infusion reaction.
  • Infection. Some people experience serious infections as a side effect of this drug. Your risk for this side effect could be higher if you have an infection when starting treatment. Before starting Blincyto, tell your doctor if you have any infections.
  • Problems with your nervous system. Blincyto can cause serious damage to the nervous system. This could worsen any existing nervous system problems. If you have any problems with your nervous system, such as seizures or trouble hearing, seeing, or swallowing, tell your doctor. They may prescribe a treatment other than Blincyto for you.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Blincyto or any of its ingredients, you should not take Blincyto. Ask your doctor about other medications that might be better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. You should not use Blincyto during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Blincyto and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. You should not use Blincyto while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Blincyto and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Blincyto, see the “Blincyto side effects” section above.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.