Daclizumab is a monoclonal antibody with immunosuppressive effects. In 2009, the manufacturer voluntarily withdrew this drug from the market, although not as a result of safety concerns. It is still available through some clinical trials and a number of alternatives can also be obtained. Doctors used to working with daclizumab generally have experience with other drugs and can develop an appropriate drug regimen for a patient.
This drug was most commonly prescribed in conjunction with organ transplants, particularly kidneys, to prevent transplant rejection. It was given in a series of injections, usually as part of a multidrug regimen to address concerns associated with transplant, including risks of rejections and infections. Clinical trials have also suggested that daclizumab may also be useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis if other medications cannot adequately control the disease.
As with other immunosuppressive drugs, the primary concern with daclizumab is the risk of opportunistic infections. Patients on these medications are less likely to be able to cope with infections and can get very sick. The drugs can also make vaccination ill-advised, as the immune system may overreact to vaccines. Allergic reactions to daclizumab itself are another concern for care providers; symptoms like hives and difficulty breathing are signs that the patient is developing an allergy to the medication.
When drugs are voluntarily withdrawn, as was the case with daclizumab, there can be a range of reasons for it. No safety issues with this drug were identified, and it is considered safe for use in clinical trials, where researchers are looking for new applications for the drug, as well as collecting more detailed information on dosage, side effects, and risks. People interested in accessing this medication can search a clinical trial database to see if any open trials are looking for patients like them.
Drugs used to suppress the immune system are prescribed and administered with great care, as there are serious risks associated with them. A doctor specializing in management of immune conditions may be involved in the process of developing a drug regimen for a patient, and patients need to report any side effects they experience immediately. Seemingly mild issues like nausea, vomiting, or runny nose can be signs of an infection or reaction. Patients on immunosuppressants must also be careful about exposure to potentially infectious agents and should advise friends and family to take reasonable precautions to protect them from viruses and bacteria.