Raptiva Side Effects Warning: Progressive Brain Disease and Serious Infections

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted October 17, 2008


The psoriasis injection Raptiva carries a risk of life-threatening infections, including a rare brain disease known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Yesterday the FDA announced that a new Raptiva black box warning will be added to the drug to highlight the infection risk, and the manufacturer is being required to develop a Medication Guide for patients to educate them about the risks and signs of problems

>>FDA LINK: Raptiva Infections Black Box Warning

Raptiva (efalizumab) was approved by the FDA in 2003 and generates sales of about $120 million per year, with most sales coming in the United States. It is sold by Genetech, Inc. to treat the skin disease psoriasis. It acts as an immunosuppresant which may increase the risk of serious infections and malignancies.

The FDA has received reports of patients suffering Raptiva side effects that led to serious inefections, such as bacterial sepsis, viral meningitis, invasive fungal disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and other opportunistic infections.

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, which is also known as PML and Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalitis, is a rare, yet serious, viral diesase which often results in death. It affects the central nervous system and the brain, and there is no cure for the infection.

Symptoms of PML could include:

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Vision Loss
  • Impaired Speech
  • Cognitive Deterioration
  • Death


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing information and research to determine whether compensation may be available for individuals who received this drug and suffered progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy through a Raptiva lawsuit. To review a potential case with an attorney, request a free consultation.

1 Comment • Add Your Comments

  • Lorrie says:

    I took rapitva for my systemic/discoid Lupus from January 2008 until July 2008, am I still at risk for pml?

    Posted on February 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

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