Evaluation of the safety of palivizumab in the second season of exposure in young children at risk for severe respiratory syncytial virus infection

Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil, Juergen Seidenberg, Ian Mitchell, Veerle Cossey, Martin Cihar, Michal Csader, Rienk Baarsma, Marques Valido, Paul F. Pollack, Jessie R. Groothuis, Karel Allegaert, Jacques Lombet, Dominique Haumont, Katleen Plaskie, H. Dele Davies, Reginald S. Sauve, Joanne M. Langley, Karel Liska, Patrick Andre, Pierre LequienNadine Kacet, Fabrice Lapeyre, Barbara Wickenburg-Ennen, Helga Nolte, Peter Andreas Harding, Sandra Ramos, Margarida Carolino, Antónia Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Palivizumab reduces respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalisations in high-risk infants. Those with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia may require two seasons of prophylaxis. There is concern that this humanised antibody might cause an adverse immune response in a second season of use. Objective: To evaluate and compare the occurrence of anti-palivizumab antibodies and clinical adverse events in subjects receiving monthly palivizumab injections for a first and second season, and to assess frequency and severity of RSV disease in the two groups. Design and Patients: Subjects aged ≤2 years at severe risk for RSV disease were designated as first season (no previous palivizumab exposure) or second season subjects (received palivizumab in previous RSV season). Palivizumab injections (15 mg/kg) were administered monthly for up to 5 months. Anti-palivizumab antibody titres and serum palivizumab concentrations were measured; adverse events were recorded. Results: No first (n = 71) or second (n = 63) season subjects experienced a significant anti-palivizumab antibody response (titre ≥1:80). Serum palivizumab concentrations were similar for the two groups. Nine (12.7%) first season and 8 (12.7%) second season subjects experienced one or more serious adverse events; most were respiratory and all were considered to be not or probably not related to palivizumab. No deaths occurred during the study. Conclusions: Monthly palivizumab injections were not associated with adverse immune responses or adverse events in young children receiving palivizumab for one or two seasons. Children receiving palivizumab for a second season did not experience more severe adverse events than those receiving it for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Safety
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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