The psoriasis drug efalizumab may cause life-threatening infections, regulators have warned. Several patients have died from infections such as bacterial sepsis and viral meningitis after taking the drug.
America's drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is telling doctors to carefully monitor all patients who are taking the drug, which is administered as a weekly injection.
Although nobody under the age of 18 is supposed to take the drug, the FDA is concerned that the drug may cause permanent immuno-suppression in the very young.
Patients have been urged to contact their doctor if they see any early signs of infection, or if they start suffering dizziness, vision or neurological problems, weakness, jaundice or bruising, or if their psoriasis or arthritis starts to worsen.
(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 300: 2359).