Aralast

1 What is Aralast?

Brand: Aralast, Aralast NP, Glassia, Prolastin, Prolastin-C, Zemaira

Generic: Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor Human

Aralast is used to treat a certain type of emphysema (a lung condition). The emphysema is caused by the lack of a protein called alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) in the body. This medication replaces the protein when the body does not produce enough.

This medication is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor. This product is available in the following forms:

  • Solution
  • Powder for solution

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Aralast, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to doxorubicin or to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in elderly patients. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Pregnancy: This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category C. This means that animal studies have shown an adverse effect and no studies have been performed on pregnant women OR there are no adequate studies on pregnant animals and pregnant women.

Breastfeeding: There are no up-to-date studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication while breastfeeding. Weigh the potential risks with the benefits before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions. When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications.

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially: 

  • IgA deficiency with antibodies against IgA - Should not be used in patients with this condition.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Aralast requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medication in a hospital or clinic.

This medication is given through a needle placed in one of your veins (intravenous). This medication is normally given once a week on a regular schedule. Discuss any questions with your doctor.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Aralast, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.

This medication may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency medical help.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting (syncope), difficulty breathing or swallowing or any swelling of the face, hands or mouth after receiving this medication.

Alpha 1-PI is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who receive them, however, the risk of this is very low and has been greatly reduced in recent years.

This is the result of required testing of human donors for certain viruses and testing during the manufacturing process. Discuss any concerns with your doctor. Your doctor may give you a hepatitis B vaccines before receiving this medication.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Aralast. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:

More Common:

Rare:

  • Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • A cough producing mucus
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficult or labored breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint, dizzy, or lightheadedness
  • Flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness (malaise)
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Noisy breathing
  • Pounding in the ears (pulsatile tinnitus)
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Shivering
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow or fast heartbeat (bradycardia, tachycardia)
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sweating
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tingling of the hands or feet
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Unusual weight gains or loss
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More Common:

  • Feeling of warmth
  • Itching skin
  • Muscle or bone pain
  • Pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • Redness of the face, neck, arms or upper chest
  • Sudden sweating

Rare:

  • Back pain
  • Bloating
  • Change in taste
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever
  • Hives or welts
  • Loss of taste
  • Pain
  • Redness of the skin
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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