How does this medicine work?
Blinatumomab (blin-a-TOOM-oh-mab) belongs to a class of monoclonal antibodies called bi-specific T-cell engagers (BiTEs). It works to destroy cancer cells by targeting the CD19 antigen present on B cells.
How is the medicine given?
Blinatumomab is given into a vein (IV) by infusion over 28 days. Days 1-4 your child will be in the hospital. Days 4-28 the infusion will be given at home, if your child’s condition allows. The IV bag will need to be changed every 96 hours (4 days). This will be done in the hospital, the hem/onc clinic or in the home with homecare nursing if within the homecare area. Before the start of the infusion on Day 1, your child will be pre-medicated with dexamethasone 6-12 hours prior to the infusion and again 30 minutes prior to the start of the infusion.
What are the side effects?
- Low potassium
- Low blood counts
- Low/high blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Acute kidney failure
- Fluid on the lungs
- Lung infection
When should I call the clinic?
Call the clinic if:
- Fever, bleeding, unusual bruising
- Swelling of feet or legs
- Cough, shortness of breath
- Pain, burning, numbness, tingling
- Seizure, loss of consciousness
- Confusion, hallucinations, memory loss
- Decreased urination
- Signs of an allergic reaction:
- rash or hives
- trouble breathing-call 911
What else do I need to know?
DO NOT flush the Blinatumomab line.
Your child’s port needle will be changed every 8 days to correlate with cap and bag changes.
Any interruptions of Blinatumomab should be avoided. If an interruption is greater than 4 hours, this requires an admission to the hospital and a new bag of medication restarted.
All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your child is receiving chemotherapy and for 48 hours afterward. Urine, stool, and vomit can be safely disposed of in septic tanks and the sewer system.
Any clothes or bed linens that are contaminated with urine, stool, or vomit should be washed separately from other laundry in hot water and detergent. Anyone handling the contaminated laundry should wear gloves.
Your child will have regular blood tests while receiving this medication. This is to make sure your child's organs are working properly.
This information is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic or pharmacy.
Reviewed by Hem/onc 6/2016.
This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.
© 2017 Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota