What are the possible side effects of YESCARTA?

Because YESCARTA is a treatment that works on your immune system, there is a risk that your immune system may become overactive and affect the rest of your body in unwanted ways. You can learn about the possible side effects of YESCARTA by reading the Important Safety Information.

Two side effects that many patients have experienced are Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS)? and Neurotoxicity?:

CRS and Neurotoxicity can become life-threatening and can lead to death. Call or see your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you get any of the following:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe fatigue or weakness

It is important to tell your healthcare provider that you received YESCARTA and to show them your YESCARTA Patient Wallet Card. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to treat your side effects.

The most common side effects of YESCARTA include:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Low white blood cells (can occur with a fever)
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low blood pressure (dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, feeling tired, short of breath)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

These are not all the possible side effects of YESCARTA. It’s important to talk to your treatment team about how you are feeling, and let them know if you notice any symptoms. Each person's experience and potential side effects will be different.


How will the treatment team manage side effects and keep me safe?

Your safety and care are top priority. There will be multiple safety measures in place throughout your YESCARTA treatment experience:


What is my role in managing side effects?

Both patients and caregivers play an important role during CAR T treatment. See below for what you can do and how your responsibilities may shift throughout treatment.

Remember that you can always ask your treatment team if you have questions about side effects and how to look for them.


During YESCARTA infusion and close monitoring

To help prepare for your CAR T-cell infusion, your treatment team may give you premedications.

You will need to stay at the treatment center for at least 1 week after the infusion in case serious side effects happen. During this time, you will be under the care of your treatment team. Serious side effects are most likely in the first few weeks after infusion.

Your treatment team is well equipped to manage and treat side effects. They will regularly complete health checks? and ask you to do some simple tasks? to identify and track any symptoms. If needed, they may treat CRS or neurotoxicity with corticosteroids or other medications.

A patient with the oncologist and caregiver during YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) infusion at the certified treatment center

Your treatment team is well equipped to manage and treat side effects. They will regularly complete health checks? and ask you to do some simple tasks? to identify and track any symptoms. If needed, they may treat CRS or neurotoxicity with corticosteroids or other medications.

What you can do

Proactively tell the treatment team if you notice any changes in how you're feeling. Caregivers may be the first to notice side effects, as some symptoms can be difficult for patients to recognize by themselves.

The treatment team can also answer any questions you may have about side effects and how to look for them.

Learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for this step on the Receiving YESCARTA page.

“Every day while I was in the hospital, each shift of nurses would have me write my name on a piece of paper, ask me what day it was, and ask me to identify five different objects in my room.”

MargaretYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Margaret YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador looking out the window.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.


During continued monitoring

After the first week, you may be able to leave the treatment center but you will still need to stay nearby so you can return quickly if any side effects occur. Your treatment team will let you know how close you need to stay.

A caregiver taking a patient's temperature while the patient recovers at home.

What you can do

Follow your treatment team’s instructions for monitoring for signs and symptoms of side effects. You will be responsible for monitoring side effects once you’ve left the center. Notify your treatment team immediately if you notice any changes. Receiving medical attention right away may keep side effects from becoming more serious.

You will receive a Patient Wallet Card to carry with you. You will need to show it to any healthcare providers you visit.

Learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for this step on the Receiving YESCARTA page.

“I was hyper-aware of every little change my body was going through, and it was a little overwhelming! My mom and I had a detailed schedule for when to take meds, blood pressure, and temperature. We had alarms on our phones and a checklist to make sure we didn't miss anything.”

LayraYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Laura comforting Layra, a YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.


During recovery at home

When the treatment team thinks you are ready—at least 4 weeks after infusion—you'll no longer be required to stay near the treatment center. If you had to travel for treatment, this means you can now return home. You may also start returning to your local oncologist for follow-up appointments.

A caregiver continuing to take care of a recovering patient at home.

What you can do

Continue to look out for side effects and talk to your healthcare teams about how you are feeling. Make sure to attend follow-up appointments. If you miss an appointment, it’s important to reschedule as soon as possible.

You should continue carrying the Patient Wallet Card and show it to any healthcare providers you visit.

Learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for this step on the Receiving YESCARTA page.

“When we were in the hospital, if something went wrong, I could just stick my head out the door and a whole medical team would be there. At home, we don’t have that. But I had the numbers for emergency help and knowing that was available to me made me feel better.”

SkipYESCARTA Caregiver

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Caregiver ambassador Skip shows Margaret, a YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador, information on the computer.

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.


Patient and caregiver perspectives

This testimonial is representative of patients’ and caregivers’ own experiences. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Monitoring side effects

Learn more about what side effect monitoring was like for YESCARTA patients and caregivers

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Have questions? Call us

Your treatment team is the best resource for support throughout treatment.

If you have questions at any step of the CAR T process, our dedicated team at Kite can also help. You can call them at:

Certified treatment centers

In order to provide YESCARTA, cancer treatment centers must first be certified. Certified treatment centers have specifically-trained medical staff, strict treatment protocols, and safety measures in place for CAR T-cell therapy. These centers are often first to use best care practices learned through research.

Certified treatment centers are sometimes known as authorized treatment centers.



Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS)

CRS happens when your immune system becomes overactive.

After infusion, when the modified T cells recognize and kill cancer cells, they may release proteins called cytokines.

A buildup of cytokines can lead to symptoms including:

  • fever
  • chills
  • rapid heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • low blood oxygen level

CRS can last for about a week and typically occurs in the first few days after infusion, when you are staying at the treatment center under the care of the treatment team.

Neurotoxicity

Neurotoxicity is a side effect that happens when there is damage to the brain and spinal cord.

Neurotoxicity can cause symptoms like:

  • changes in the way the brain functions
  • seizures
  • changes in level of consciousness
  • difficulty with speech
  • tremors
  • confusion

Symptoms of neurotoxicity can last for 2–3 weeks and typically begin 4–5 days after YESCARTA infusion.

Some health checks your treatment team might do:

Treatment team administering health check on patient.
  • Temperature: to check if you have a fever or an elevated temperature (over 100.4ºF or 38ºC)
  • Blood pressure: to check if it is low
  • Oxygen levels: to check if they are low
  • Blood tests: to monitor for infections or any changes in function of internal organs

Approved Uses

YESCARTA is a prescription medicine used to treat two types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma ...

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about YESCARTA? YESCARTA may cause side effects that are life-threatening and can lead to death ...

Approved Uses and Important Safety Information

Approved Uses

YESCARTA is a prescription medicine used to treat two types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • large B-cell lymphoma when your first treatment did not work or your cancer returned within a year of first treatment, OR when at least two kinds of treatment have failed to control your cancer.
  • follicular lymphoma when at least two kinds of treatment have failed to control your cancer.

YESCARTA is different than other cancer medicines because it is made from your own white blood cells, which have been modified to recognize and attack your lymphoma cells.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about YESCARTA?

YESCARTA may cause side effects that are life-threatening and can lead to death. Call or see your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you get any of the following:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe fatigue or weakness

It is important to tell your healthcare provider that you received YESCARTA and to show them your YESCARTA Patient Wallet Card. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to treat your side effects.

Before getting YESCARTA, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical problems, including if you have or have had:

  • Neurologic problems (such as seizures, stroke, or memory loss)
  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Heart problems
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • A recent or active infection

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

How will I receive YESCARTA?

  • Since YESCARTA is made from your own white blood cells, your blood will be collected by a process called “leukapheresis” (loo-kah-fur-ee-sis), which will concentrate your white blood cells.
  • Your blood cells will be sent to a manufacturing center to make your YESCARTA.
  • Before you get YESCARTA, you will get 3 days of chemotherapy to prepare your body.
  • When your YESCARTA is ready, your healthcare provider will give it to you through a catheter placed into your vein (intravenous infusion). The infusion usually takes less than 30 minutes.
  • You will be monitored where you received your treatment daily for at least 7 days after the infusion.
  • You should plan to stay close to the location where you received your treatment for at least 4 weeks after getting YESCARTA. Your healthcare provider will help you with any side effects that may occur.
  • You may be hospitalized for side effects and your healthcare provider will discharge you if your side effects are under control, and it is safe for you to leave the hospital.
  • Your healthcare provider will want to do blood tests to follow your progress. It is important that you do have your blood tested. If you miss an appointment, call your healthcare provider as soon as possible to reschedule.

What should I avoid after receiving YESCARTA?

  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous things for 8 weeks after you get YESCARTA because the treatment can cause sleepiness, confusion, weakness, and temporary memory and coordination problems.
  • Do not donate blood, organs, tissues, or cells for transplantation.

What are the possible or reasonably likely side effects of YESCARTA?

The most common side effects of YESCARTA include:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Low white blood cells (can occur with a fever)
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low blood pressure (dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, feeling tired, short of breath)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

These are not all the possible side effects of YESCARTA. Call your healthcare provider about any side effects that concern you. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the Important Facts, including IMPORTANT WARNINGS.

Some simple tasks your treatment team might ask you to do:

Patient conducting a simple task check administered by the treatment team.
  • Write something, like a standard sentence
  • Say something, like naming the date and location you are in, pointing to and naming objects in the room, counting backwards from 100 by increments of 10
  • Follow a simple instruction, like holding up two fingers