* Eculizumab (Soliris) is now approved to treat the rare blood disorder atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome in adults and children.
* Common adverse effects include hypertension, diarrhea, headache, anemia, vomiting, nausea, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, and leukopenia.
* Eculizumab's label carries a warning that the drug increases the risk of life-threatening meningococcal infection. Nurses should confirm that vaccination against meningococcal infection occurred at least two weeks before patients start therapy with eculizumab.
Diane S. Aschenbrenner is the course coordinator for undergraduate pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. She also coordinates Drug Watch: email@example.com.