Lecanemab: Appropriate Use Recommendations
Lecanemab (Leqembi®) is a therapeutic approved in the United States for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to be initiated in early AD (mild cognitive impairment [MCI] due to AD or mild AD dementia) with confirmed brain amyloid pathology. Appropriate Use Recommendations (AURs) are intended to help guide the introduction of new therapies into real-world clinical practice. Adverse events may occur with lecanemab including amyloid related imaging abnormalities (ARIA) and infusion reactions. Monitoring guidelines for these events are detailed in this AUR. Most ARIA with lecanemab is asymptomatic, but a few cases are serious or, very rarely, fatal. Microhemorrhages and rare macrohemorrhages may occur in patients receiving lecanemab. Anticoagulation increases the risk of hemorrhage, and the AUR recommends that patients requiring anticoagulants not receive lecanemab until more data regarding this interaction are available. Patients who are apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE4) gene carriers, especially APOE4 homozygotes, are at higher risk for ARIA, and the AUR recommends APOE genotyping to better inform risk discussions with patients who are lecanemab candidates. Patients and their care partners must understand the potential benefits, the potential harms, and the monitoring requirements for treatment with this agent.
“Persons with Down syndrome develop AOAD and are amyloid positive. There is an increased occurrence of CAA in patients with Down syndrome and they should be excluded from treatment with lecanemab. Clinical trials for patients with Down syndrome are under consideration and additional data including information that may guide the use of lecanemab in this population are expected.” [p. 13]
Source: Cummings, J., Apostolova, L., Rabinovici, G.D. et al. Lecanemab: Appropriate Use Recommendations. J Prev Alzheimers Dis (2023). https://doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2023.30