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What are the side effects of Tysabri?


Tysabri® (natalizumab) is a drug used to treat the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS causes nerve damage which can lead to weakness, numbness, and loss of bodily control and function. Tysabri® works by modifying the immune system. This leads to a decrease in the number of relapses and the time between relapses. While this drug can provide relief for MS patients, there is no actual cure for multiple sclerosis. The dose of Tysabri® may vary from person to person and is given as an infusion.

Potential Tysabri® side effects

One of Tysabri's side effects is its ability to increase the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Because of this side effect, it is only available through a special program called TOUCH. PML is a viral infection of the brain which usually leads to death or severe disability since it cannot be cured. Through TOUCH, only registered health care providers can prescribe, dispense, or administer this medication. It is very important to be under the care of a qualified doctor when taking this medicine.

Minor side effects

Other side effects of Tysabri® can include headache, tiredness, pain, swelling, urinary tract infection, respiratory infection, allergic reaction, cough, chest pain, fever, chills, flushing, difficulty breathing, and dizziness. Be sure to talk to your doctor regarding any side effects which become bothersome or severe especially regarding signs of infection. This list is not all-inclusive, so be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding any questions you may have about this medication.

Find out about progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in our Health Encyclopedia.

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