Taking Eculizumab (Soliris®) Increases Your Risk for Meningococcal Disease
Seek Medical Care Quickly
If you are taking Soliris® and think you have any meningococcal disease symptoms, get medical care right away and tell your healthcare provider you are taking Soliris®. You should seek quick medical care even if you are up to date with meningococcal vaccination or taking antibiotic prophylaxis.
If you take eculizumab (Soliris®), you are at 1,000 to 2,000 times greater risk for getting meningococcal disease compared to otherwise healthy people in the United States.
If You Take Eculizumab, You Are at High Risk for Meningococcal Disease Even if Vaccinated
Soliris® is most commonly prescribed for treatment of two rare blood disorders: atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
Recent data suggest that meningococcal vaccines likely provide incomplete protection against invasive meningococcal disease in Soliris® recipients. If you are taking Soliris®, you should be alert to any symptoms of meningococcal disease. If you have any of these symptoms, you should get medical care right away and tell your healthcare provider you are taking Soliris®. Even if you received meningococcal vaccines, you could still get meningococcal disease.
Even though meningococcal vaccination may not prevent all cases of meningococcal disease, you should continue receiving the recommended meningococcal vaccines. Talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you are up to date on vaccination.
Your healthcare provider may also give you antibiotics to help prevent meningococcal disease (known as prophylaxis) while you are taking Soliris®. It is still important to seek quick treatment for symptoms of meningococcal disease even if you are taking antibiotic prophylaxis.
- Food and Drug Administration. Soliris® (eculizumab) product label [33 pages]. Accessed 6/2017.
- McNamara LA, Topaz N, Wang X, Hariri S, Fox L, MacNeil J. High risk for invasive meningococcal disease among patients receiving eculizumab (Soliris) despite receipt of meningococcal vaccine. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66(27):734–7.
- For Clinicians: Managing the Risk of Meningococcal Disease among Patients Who Receive Eculizumab Therapy
- Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)
- Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
- Recommended Immunizations for Children from Birth Through 6 Years Old [2 pages]
- Recommended Immunizations for Children 7—18 Years Old [2 pages]
- Recommended Immunizations for Adults: By Age and Health Condition [2 pages]
- Page last reviewed: July 6, 2017
- Page last updated: July 13, 2017
- Content source:
- Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases