Intravenous corticosteroids to reduce gemtuzumab ozogamicin infusion reactions

Francis J. Giles*, Jorge E. Cortes, Terri A. Halliburton, Susie J. Mallard, Elihu H. Estey, Tracey A. Waddelow, JoAnn T. Lim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the addition of a brief course of intravenous corticosteroids reduces the incidence of infusion-related adverse events associated with gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) administration. METHODS: One hundred forty-three sequential patients received GO-based therapy for refractory myeloid leukemias: 110 patients received the standard regimen of acetaminophen 650 mg orally with diphenhydramine 50 mg intravenously and 33 patients received the same premedications with methylprednisolone sodium succinate 50 mg intravenous piggyback (IVPB) prior to infusion and repeated 1 hour into the infusion. RESULTS: Of 110 patients who received GO with standard premedications alone, 32 (29%) had grade 2 or above infusion-related adverse events. In 33 patients who received these premedications with methylprednisolone 50 mg IVPB prior to infusion and repeated 1 hour into the infusion, only 1 (3%) experienced any infusion-related adverse events (p = 0.0009, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.36). There was no significant difference between the patient cohorts in terms of hepatotoxicity, rate of development of hepatic venoocclusive disease, response rates, or infectious complications. CONCLUSIONS: A brief course of intravenous corticosteroids significantly reduces the incidence of GO infusion-related adverse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1185
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Gemtuzumab ozogamicin
  • Hepatic venoocclusive disease
  • Infusion-related adverse events
  • Methylprednisolone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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