Tecartus is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) in adults. Tecartus is only available through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the Yescarta and Tecartus REMS Program. Tecartus is also known by its drug name, Brexucabtagene autoleucel.
Tecartus is an immunotherapy made by genetically modifying a person’s T cells. It is believed to work by stimulating an immune response to recognize and eliminate B-cell lymphomas. To make Tecartus, the recipient will first need to have their white blood cells collected in a process called leukapheresis.
How do I take it?
Tecartus comes in the form of a concentrated cell suspension which is administered through intravenous (IV) infusion in a certified health care facility, following three days of chemotherapy to prepare your body. You will need to be monitored for at least seven days after your infusion.
The FDA-approved label for Tecartus lists common side effects including fever, low blood pressure, fatigue, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, infection, chills, lack of oxygen (hypoxia), language impairment, cough, tremor, musculoskeletal pain, headache, nausea, swelling, motor dysfunction, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, shortness of breath, rash, insomnia, water on the lungs (pleural effusion), and encephalopathy (a brain disease).
Less common but serious side effects for Tecartus include cytokine release syndrome, hypersensitivity reactions, neurotoxicity reactions, severe infection, prolonged reduction in mature red blood cell count (cytopenia), lowered antibody count (hypogammaglobulinemia), and secondary malignancies.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your doctor before treatment with Tecartus.
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