OCREVUS (ocrelizumab) is an IV therapy used to treat patients with both Relapsing MS (RMS) and Primary Progressive MS (PPMS). OCREVUS is a biologic medication and contains proteins that target specific areas of the immune system.
In people with Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system inappropriately attacks the sheath that covers nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This sheath is called Myelin, and when it is damaged it causes disruptions in the communication signals sent throughout the body. The current understanding of this process is that B cells play a key role in triggering these attacks.
OCREVUS targets B cells and attaches to the B cells and destroys them before they can cause damage to the nerves.
OCREVUS® Treatment for MS
OCREVUS was approved by the FDA in 2017 to treat patients with Relapsing MS (RMS) and Primary Progressive MS (PPMS). It is the first medication approved to treat PPMS. Unlike other medications for MS that need to be administered more frequently, patients receiving OCREVUS infusions only require 3 infusions in the first year of treatment.
In a clinical study, about 83% of OCREVUS patients with RMS had no relapses, while the number of total relapses was cut almost in half (46%).1 OCREVUS patients with PPMS were shown to be 24% less likely to have disability progression while on the medication. This means patients were 24% less likely to notice worsening MS symptoms, including numbness, loss of coordination, speech and swallowing problems, memory loss, visual impairment, and bowel and bladder dysfunction, and muscle weakness.
OCREVUS® Infusion Therapy – What to Expect
If your provider has prescribed OCREVUS as a Multiple Sclerosis medication, you will receive 2 doses six months apart. The first dose of OCREVUS is administered as 2 infusions that last around 2.5 hours. Your MS infusion may take longer depending on a variety of factors.
Most patients tolerate OCREVUS well. The most commonly reported OCREVUS side effects include skin and upper respiratory tract infections and infusion reactions (itching, redness, headache, nausea, throat irritation, fatigue, and dizziness).
There is a possibility of Hepatitis B reactivation during OCREVUS treatment. Before starting OCREVUS, your provider will perform a Hepatitis B screening to rule out active HBV. If you have had HBV in the past, your provider will monitor your risk throughout your course of treatment.
Before your OCREVUS infusion, it’s important to take care of your overall health. Prepare for your visit to have a more comfortable infusion experience. It’s recommended to wear comfortable clothes and a shirt with loose-fitting sleeves. Make sure to arrange for transportation in advance and bring any needed items, such as your laptop or phone, with you to your appointment.
Your OCREVUS out-of-pocket cost will vary depending on your insurance provider. There are financial assistance and co-pay programs available to patients who need help affording their MS medication. Talk with your provider or infusion center, or use the OCREVUS financial support tool to learn more.
FlexCare Infusion Centers offers a financial assistance program to FlexCare patients who need assistance affording the cost of OCREVUS infusion therapy. Contact a member of our team to learn more.
Getting Started With Infusion Therapy
If you have any questions, you can also contact FlexCare directly. We look forward to helping you soon.
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