Hemophilia A Treatment
Hemophilia A Treatment

How is hemophilia A treated?

While there is no cure for hemophilia A, there are a number of effective treatment options available.1,2 One common treatment is called factor replacement therapy, which is an injectable treatment that helps replace the clotting factor VIII that is missing or low in the blood and helps blood clot properly.1,3 Other treatments or therapies include2,4:

  • Desmopressin, a hormone that can stimulate your body to release more clotting factor
  • Clot-preserving medications that can help prevent clots from breaking down
  • Fibrin sealants, which are medications that can be applied to wounds to promote clotting and healing
  • Non-factor therapy, a medicine that enables the blood to clot without replacing the missing factor

Factor replacement therapy has evolved over the past few decades. Today, clotting factor VIII concentrates can be made without human plasma. These types of infusions are called recombinant clotting factors and cannot spread bloodborne illness, unlike plasma treatments.5

The Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) encourages the use of recombinant clotting factor products.3 Your doctor or your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) will help you decide which treatment option is right for you.

Hemophilia A treatment brochure.

Want to learn more about different hemophilia A treatment types?

When do I use factor VIII replacement therapy?

If you are prescribed replacement therapy, your doctor will talk to you about using treatment at regular intervals to help prevent bleeds (prophylaxis or preventative treatment) or when a bleed occurs (on-demand treatment).1

Use case1,6 When treatment is used1,6 Commonly used for1,6
Prophylaxis (preventative) At regular intervals People with severe hemophilia
On-demand When a bleed occurs People with mild to moderate hemophilia
Surgical Before, during, and after a surgery People with hemophilia undergoing surgical procedures, in consultation with their doctor

You can inject both prophylactic and on-demand replacement therapy at home. Because home treatment can be given more quickly when a bleed occurs, it lowers the risk serious bleeding and side effects.1

"Things have changed. Just, oh my God, things have changed. It's nothing like it was before. My outlook for my son is bright." — Athena, parent

What is a half-life?

Half-life is related to how long treatment can stay in your body and specifically how long it takes half of the infused factor to clear from your body. The longer the half-life, the longer your treatment is present in your body.7 This allows you and your doctor to plan your treatment regimen so that your factor levels fit your lifestyle.

Stopwatch icon in a red circle.

Standard (or traditional) clotting factor has a half-life of 8-12 hours in most people with hemophilia A.7

Stopwatch icon with a plus sign in a red circle.

Extended (or prolonged) clotting factor has a longer half-life so it stays in your blood longer.7

What is a PK profile?

Pharmacokinetics (PK) is the study of how the body absorbs, distributes, and processes drugs.8 Doctors can create personalized PK profiles that help them better understand how quickly a patient's body breaks down treatment, which is then used to tailor treatment to meets that patient's specific needs.9

Tracking your bleeds and treatment

You can help your doctor tailor your treatment to your specific needs by keeping track of your bleeds, physical activity, and infusions. Mobile applications are available to track your bleeds and infusion times.10 You can ask your doctor or HTC about PK profiling options that are available to you to help individualize your or your child's hemophilia treatment.9

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  1. Hemophilia A. National Organization for Rare Disorders. Accessed February 9, 2021. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hemophilia-a/
  2. Hemophilia. Mayo Clinic. Accessed February 10, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemophilia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373333
  3. Hemophilia A. National Hemophilia Foundation. Accessed February 9, 2021. https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Hemophilia-A
  4. Franchini M, Mannucci PM. Non-factor replacement therapy for haemophilia: a current update. Blood Transfus. 2018;16(5):457-461.
  5. Treatment of hemophilia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed February 10, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/treatment.html
  6. Negrier C, Shapiro A, Berntorp E, et al. Surgical evaluation of a recombinant factor VIII prepared using a plasma/albumin-free method: efficacy and safety of Advate in previously treated patients. Thromb Haemost. 2008;100(2):217-223.
  7. Role of New Prolonged Half-Life Clotting Factors in Hemophilia. National Hemophilia Foundation.
  8. Ratain MJ, Plunkett WK Jr. Principles of Pharmacokinetics. In: Kufe DW, Pollock RE, Weichselbaum RR, et al., editors. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 6th edition. 2003. Accessed February 10, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK12815/
  9. Iorio A. Using pharmacokinetics to individualize hemophilia therapy. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2017(1):595-604.
  10. Metcalf E. Manage hemophilia with a personal health record. HemAware. Published May 1, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2021. https://hemaware.org/bleeding-disorders-z/manage-hemophilia-personal-health-record