OZANIMOD

Published: June 8, 2022

Dear @[email protected],

Your healthcare team has discussed the following medication with you: Ozanimod.  The brand name is Zeposia.  Here is some additional information.  Let us know if you have any questions regarding this information. 

How it works: Disease-fighting immune cells circulate in the bloodstream, passing through small glands called lymph nodes.  In patients with IBD, the immune system malfunctions.  Immune cells move into the intestines, where they mistake healthy tissue for a problem or a threat.  They launch an attack, causing damage.  Ozanimod prevents the immune cells from moving out of the lymph nodes and into the intestines.  This may help to prevent immune cells from causing damage to the intestines.

How it is taken: one pill is taken by mouth daily

Possible side effects: The most common side effects are upper respiratory infections, elevated liver tests, headaches, urinary tract infections, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, or back pain.  Other side effects may include: serious infections, slow heart rate (bradycardia - this can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or fatigue), shortness of breath, eye changes called macular edema (your eyes will be followed closely by an ophthalmologist if you have uveitis or diabetes mellitus), posterior reversible encephalopathy (this is very rare, notify your healthcare team if you experience severe headache, seizure, or changes in your vision).

Reasons to avoid this medication (contraindications): You should avoid this medication if you have severe heart failure, recent (in the past 6 months) heart attack or stroke, heart block that is not treated with a pacemaker, uncontrolled abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), or untreated severe sleep apnea.  There are currently no studies regarding the safety of Ozanimod in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Monitoring: You will need to have lab work drawn routinely on this medication to monitor your white blood cell count and liver tests. 

Points to remember: You should notify your healthcare team if you have these symptoms while taking this medication: fever, fatigue, cough, painful urination, headache, rash, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, chest pain, or changes in vision.  It will be important to receive certain vaccines while on this medication, to prevent infections such as influenza and pneumonia.  Talk to your healthcare team about the vaccines that are needed and if you are trying to get pregnant, as there are important considerations with this medication.

Other tips: The best way to control your disease is by taking your medication as directed. Even when you do not have any symptoms, it is very important to continue taking your medication to prevent your disease from becoming active again.

For further information, please check out http://www.ibdmedicationguide.org or follow this link:

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