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What should I know about natalizumab before taking it?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Before prescribing natalizumab, your doctor will do a blood test to check for antibodies to the virus that causes PML. People with these antibodies have a higher risk of getting PML while taking natalizumab.

It is not known if natalizumab is safe or effective for children and teens under 18 years of age.

You should not take natalizumab if you are breastfeeding.

If you have had progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), you should not take natalizumab.

Natalizumab may cause liver damage or make it worse.

Natalizumab may not be a good option for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or who may be pregnant. It is not known if it is safe for pregnant women.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.