Enspryng (satralizumab )

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: March 2022

Enspryng™ (satralizumab) is a laboratory-made antibody approved for adults with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) who have are positive on testing for the AQP4 antibody (AQP4-IgG). Enspryng is the first approved treatment in NMOSD that is made to block interleukin-6 (IL-6). IL-6 is a protein made by different cells in the body that plays a role in the inflammation that occurs in NMOSD.1,2

Enspryng is given by self-injection once per month.1,2

What are the ingredients in Enspryng?

The active ingredient in Enspryng is satralizumab. It is an IL-6 blocking antibody.1

How does it work?

IL-6 is a small protein important for cell signaling. Studies have shown that it plays a role in NMOSD inflammation. Enspryng blocks IL-6 from attaching to the Il-6 receptor on the cell surface. By blocking IL-6, the drug decreases inflammation and the risk of relapse in NMOSD.1,3

What are the possible side effects of Enspryng?

An increased risk of infection has been linked to Enspryng and other drugs that target IL-6. Side effects may also include:1

  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Contagious infections of the upper airway
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Arm and leg pain
  • Stomach lining inflammation
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Decreased blood levels of cells (neutrophils), which play a role in fighting infection
  • Allergic reactions
  • Injection site reactions, including redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site

These are not all the possible side effects of Enspryng. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Enspryng. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Enspryng.

Things to know

If your doctor prescribes this drug, you will receive training on the safe and correct way to inject it.1,2

Your doctor will order lab testing before you start Enspryng to check for certain infections and to make sure your liver is functioning.1

If you have or have had hepatitis B, Enspryng may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor about this and discuss your options.1

Before your first injection, you will need to learn how to inject Enspryng. Your initial dose (loading dose) will be different from your maintenance dose. Self-injection tips include:1

  • Remove the prefilled syringe from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature outside of the carton for 30 minutes. Do not warm Enspryng in any other way.
  • Look at the syringe and check for particles or discoloration before injecting. If these are found, do not use the drug and contact your doctor.
  • Inject the full amount in the syringe.
  • Enspryng is injected in the fat layer under the skin.
  • You should inject Enspryng into your thigh or belly.
  • Rotate the injection sites every time.
  • Do not inject into areas on your skin with moles, sores, scars, bruises, or tender spots.

Your doctor will monitor you with certain blood tests while you are taking Enspryng.

Do not take Enspryng if you have an active infection.1

There is not enough data to know if Enspryng is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. f you or your partner can become pregnant, you should use birth control during treatment and for some time after the last dose of Enspryng. You should also not breastfeed during treatment with Enspryng and for some time after the last dose. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Enspryng.1

There are people whose bodies fight against laboratory-made antibodies. This can make Enspryng ineffective. It also may cause an allergic response or harmful side effects. Doctors cannot predict who will end up with this type of response.4

Some immunosuppressive therapies may slightly increase the risk of cancer in the long-term. There are currently no long-term studies on Enspryng and cancer risk.1

Before beginning treatment for NMOSD, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information for Enspryng.1

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