What to expect before, during, and after treatment with DARZALEX®
If this is the first time you’re receiving a DARZALEX® infusion, you may have some questions about what it’s like and what you need to do. Hopefully, this will provide some answers.
Be prepared for your infusion
The day before
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids
Eat a healthy breakfast
Set aside enough time
On average, the first infusion may take about seven hours. Future infusions will take less time and last three to five hours. So make sure you set aside enough time in your day.
First infusion may take about seven hours
Future infusions will last three to five hours
Dress for comfort
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting, and layered clothing. You’ll want to be comfortable and able to adjust your clothing depending on the temperature in the infusion room.
DARZALEX® patient, on his infusion day wardrobe
“I wear very comfortable clothing. Usually I wear shorts and a T-shirt. You’ll be using the bathroom quite a bit from all the fluids you get, so elastic shorts can help.”
Bring a few things with you
To pass the time
Headphones, a music player, a tablet, crossword puzzles, or a book.
To help you relax
Blanket and pillow to help you get comfortable in case you want to take a nap.
To eat and drink
Snacks and drinks for the day. Check with the facility to see if bringing food is okay.
Before your infusion begins
Your healthcare professional will also do blood tests to match your blood type before you start treatment. This is because DARZALEX® can affect blood test results used to match your blood for transfusions. These changes can last for up to six months after your final dose of DARZALEX®. Tell all your healthcare professionals that you are being treated with DARZALEX® before receiving blood transfusions.
DARZALEX® patient, on his infusion day
“I have my blood work done a day or two before infusion. And I take food or snacks with me. I usually have my infusion done on the weekends. It’s much less crowded in the treatment center.”
During the infusion
Pay attention to how you feel. Let the healthcare staff know about any discomfort, even if it’s just a cough, runny nose, or throat discomfort, during or after treatment and especially during your first infusion. You could be having a reaction to treatment with DARZALEX®.
Do not receive DARZALEX® if you have a history of a severe allergic reaction to daratumumab or any of the ingredients in DARZALEX®.
Infusion reaction symptoms may include:
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- dizziness or lightheadedness (hypotension)
- throat tightness
- runny or stuffy nose
It is important to tell your doctor or nurse about a reaction as soon as possible so he or she can put an appropriate plan in place.
Infusion reactions are common with DARZALEX® and can be severe. About half the people treated with DARZALEX® experience an infusion reaction. This is most likely to happen during the first infusion and less likely with future infusions.
If you do have an infusion reaction, your healthcare professional may temporarily stop your infusion or completely stop treatment with DARZALEX®.
Go home and rest
It’s not unusual to be tired after the infusion. So it might be a good idea to have a friend drop you off and pick you up—or stay and keep you company. If you have any symptoms of an infusion reaction, get medical help right away.
Janssen CarePath can identify independent organizations which may provide assistance with costs associated with travel to and from treatment.
After the infusion
You will be given medicines, like an oral corticosteroid, to take once you go home to help reduce the risk of a delayed infusion reaction. If you have a history of breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may be given additional medicines, such as bronchodilators or inhaled corticosteroids.