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How Long Does It Take For Ocrevus To Work?

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How long Ocrevus takes to work and when you should expect results.

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is a monoclonal antibody designed to target B cells (lymphocytes). Although a vital part of our immune system, these white blood cells can contribute to nerve damage in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking the myelin that surrounds the nerves in the brain.

Manufactured by Genentech, Ocrevus is prescribed for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, including:

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
  • Active secondary progressive disease (SPMS)

This disease-modifying therapy is the only FDA-approved treatment for those with primary progressive MS (PPMS).

In clinical trials, Ocrevus was proven effective in significantly lowering the relapse rate, slowing the progression of disability, and reducing brain lesions in patients with RMS compared to those receiving Rebif® (interferon beta-1a).

For those diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), Ocrevus was proven effective in slowing disability progression and reducing brain lesions compared to those receiving a placebo.

Wondering how long Ocrevus takes to work and when you should expect results? We’re outlining everything you need to know about timing below.

Administration & dosage timeline

Ocrevus is most commonly administered by a healthcare professional via intravenous infusion. The first dose is administered in two infusions of 300 mg, spaced 2 weeks apart. Subsequent doses of 600 mg are administered every 6 months.

Patients can expect initial treatments to take 2.5 hours or longer in duration, depending on the infusion rate. Subsequent doses can range from 2 hours to 3.5 hours.

Post-infusion, patients will be monitored for at least an hour for any worsening side effects or symptoms of a delayed infusion reaction.

How long Ocrevus takes to work

Everyone responds to medication differently, and there’s no standard timeline. That said, in the aforementioned study comparing Ocrevus to Rebif, participants experienced slowed disability progression within 12 weeks, reduced brain lesions within 24 weeks, and decreased annual relapse rate within 96 weeks. This suggests that some may begin seeing results after 3 months, but others may need a year+ of Ocrevus infusions before experiencing a meaningful difference in their MS symptoms.

Possible side effects to expect during this time

Common side effects and symptoms of infusion reactions may include:

  • Itchy skin/rash/hives (including cold sores and shingles)
  • Tiredness/feeling faint/dizziness/fatigue
  • Coughing/wheezing/trouble breathing/shortness of breath
  • Throat irritation or pain/swelling of the throat
  • Fever/redness on the face (flushed)
  • Nausea/headache
  • Rapid heart beat

You may be given medications (e.g., corticosteroids, antihistamines) prior to your infusion to help reduce possible infusion reactions.

Rare but serious side effects of Ocrevus may include: 

  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Lower respiratory tract infection
  • Skin infections
  • Herpes infections
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation
  • Weakened immune system
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

Neurology signs and symptoms that should be reported to your healthcare provider include changes in thinking, eyesight, strength, balance, weakness on one side, or use of arms and legs.

Before beginning this drug (or any new drug), your doctor will help you walk you through these side effects and weigh the benefits and risks based on your specific type of MS, along with any other medical condition or health history considerations.

Interested in learning more about MS treatment at Local Infusion?

Local Infusion offers modern, state-of-the-art centers with private suites, designed with your comfort in mind.

From questions on what to expect in your first treatment, to providing financial guidance and support, a dedicated Infusion Guide works with you and your physician to provide clear answers and assistance every step of the way. Plus, we handle everything having to do with prior authorization.

We’ll reach out within hours of a physician referral and get you digitally on board in less than two minutes, allowing our staff more time to focus on you.

Should you have questions regarding pricing and insurance, our team will work with you  to provide financial assistance support and minimize costs, providing a simple and stress-free experience.

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