C1 Esterase Inhibitor, also known and sold under the trade names of Berinert and Cinryze, is a medicine used to increase the level of C1 Esterase Inhibitor in the body within who have a decreased level. The decreased level of C1 Esterase Inhibitor is considered to be the main cause for hereditary angioedema (HAE).
Hereditary angioedema is a rare disease that causes swelling of the hands, feet, face, throat, stomach. Bowels or the genital organs. This medication is used to increase the level of C1 Esterase Inhibitor that would help prevent sudden swelling attacks due to HAE.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with C1 Esterase Inhibitor is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects and the possible side effects and risks.
For the decision to be made, it is essential the beneficial effects to outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together will have to make. During the consultations, remember to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform your doctor about any allergic reactions to any medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific type of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medicine to be used within pediatric patients of 12 years of age and younger. Because of this, this medicine is not recommended to be used within pediatric patients. It should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Geriatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medicine to be used within geriatric patients. Because of this, this medicine is not recommended to be used within geriatric patients. It should be only used in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Pregnancy – Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medicine to be used during pregnancy as well as how would it affect the infant. Because of this, using this medicine during pregnancy is not recommended. It should be only used in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medicine to be used within nursing mother, also it is unknown if it would pass in the milk, and in case that happens how it would affect the baby. Because of this, using this medicine within nursing mothers is not recommended. It should be used only when the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform your doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others, because of the possibility that interactions could occur. But, sometimes the doctor may prescribe a certain type of a combination including two or more medications, if he or she considers that commination to prove as useful and beneficial to your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with certain type of diet, tobacco and/or alcohol. Because of this, inform yourself if there is a need for you to follow any specific diet and/or discontinue your usage of tobacco and/or alcohol.
Other medical problems – Inform your doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or present at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there is a history of blood clots present.
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medicine is in the form of a solution. It is given intravenously, by a needle into one of the veins. Usually, it is applied by a doctor or a healthcare professional, but you could be trained to do this at home.
The dose is directed by your doctor, based on your condition and the prognosis of the treatment. The dose is individual for every patient. The usual dose is one injection, every 3 or 4 days.
Use this medication regularly to get the most beneficial effects from it. If you forget to apply a dose, or visit your doctor so that he or she could apply it for you, take it as soon as you remember. Do not double to catch up. If an overdose is suspected, contact your doctor for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly, so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any necessary changes if needed regarding the dosage (e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dosage) or the treatment itself (e.g. the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment).
It is very important to inform your doctor about any allergic reactions to any type of medications, prescribed or no prescribed.
This medication could contain inactive substances that could cause interactions to occur. If you are currently pregnant the doctor will probably decide not to treat you with this product, because of the studies that could not confirm the safety of this medicine to be used during pregnancy.
The doctor may advise you to use a proven form of birth control so that pregnancy could be prevented. Also, the doctor will probably decide not to treat you with this product if you are currently breastfeeding, because it is unknown if this medicine passes in the milk.
This medicine is made from human blood. Although the blood is previously tested and cleared, there is still a small chance that an infection could occur.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are a possible side effects, whose presence should be expected. These side effects do not occur within all patients. They could also be mild or very serious.
It is essential that you get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice its presence and contact your doctor right away for further directions. Depending on the side effects, the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment with this product.
Less common side effects – itching, unusual red skin and etc.
A very serious allergic reaction is unlikely that would occur. But, if you notice any of the following side effects, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, itching/swelling of the hands, feet, face, tongue, trouble breathing, dizziness and etc.
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