Raptiva, which has the generic name efalizumab, is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. As with any medicine, Raptiva has some side effects. The most common side effects with Raptiva are flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • headache
  • chills
  • fever
  • nausea
  • muscle aches 

These side effects usually happen within the first 48 hours following the first 2 weekly Raptiva injections. However, these side effects usually go away by the third Raptiva injection, and most people do not find these side effects bothersome enough to stop taking Raptiva. If, however, these side effects become too uncomfortable, a dermatologist can treat them.

Serious Raptiva Side Effects

Raptiva has been linked to several serious side effects, including some that are life-threatening. The most severe side effects observed during

treatment with Raptiva include:

  • serious infections
  • malignancies (cancer)
  • thrombocytopenia
  • hemolytic anemia
  • arthritis events
  • progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
  • worsening psoriasis

Another serious side effect associated with Raptiva is a decreased number of platelets in the blood, which could result in bleeding. Raptiva patients who experience the side effects of low blood platelets should contact a doctor immediately. These side effects include:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • pinpoint red spots under the skin
  • easy bleeding from the gums
  • nosebleeds
  • black, bloody or tarry stools

Serious Raptiva Side Effects: PML

Although there is no direct proof that PML is a Raptiva side effect, at least one Raptiva patient has developed PML, and another has died after developing unexplained neurological symptoms. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), also known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis, is a rare and usually fatal viral disease that is characterized by progressive damage or inflammation of the brain at multiple locations. PML occurs almost exclusively in people with severe immune deficiency, such as patients on immunosuppressive medications (e.g. Raptiva), or AIDS patients.

Raptiva Side Effects Attorneys

If you or a family member experienced serious side effects with Raptiva, such as serious infection or cancer, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by