Hemophilia A Treatment
Hemophilia A Treatment

Exploring treatment options for hemophilia A

The most common treatment for hemophilia A is called replacement therapy.1 Concentrates of clotting factor VIII are the foundation of this treatment for hemophilia A and are administered as an infusion to help replace the clotting factor that's missing or low in the blood.1 Non-factor treatments are also available for hemophilia A in certain situations.2

You can do both prophylactic (ongoing) and on-demand (as-needed) replacement therapy at home. Many people learn to do the infusions at home for their child or for themselves. Home treatment has several advantages1:

  • Treatment is given more quickly when bleeding happens. Early treatment lowers the risk of complications1
  • Fewer visits to the healthcare provider (HCP) or emergency room are needed. Home treatment costs less than treatment in a medical care setting1
  • Home treatment helps children accept treatment and take responsibility for their own health1

Today, clotting factor VIII concentrates can be made without human plasma.1 These types of infusions are called recombinant clotting factors.1

“Things have changed. It’s nothing like it was before. My outlook for my son is bright.“ — Athena, parent

In the past 25+ years, significant advances have been made in the manufacturing of these recombinant clotting factors.2 Recombinant technology has helped produce treated factor concentrates that avoid the risk of human-viral contamination.2

When you have a bleeding disorder, certain proteins, called clotting factors, are missing from your blood.1 An infused factor treatment temporarily replaces these missing factors.1

Recombinant factor VIII was one of the first such approved treatments for hemophilia and no longer had the dangers of transmitting deadly blood-borne viruses that were previously derived from human plasma.3

The Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) encourages the use of recombinant clotting factor products.4 Your HCP or your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) will help you decide which is right for you.

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 dosage to clear from your body. The longer the half-life, the longer your treatment is present in your body.5 This allows you and your HCP to plan your treatment regimen so that your factor levels fit your lifestyle.

Standard (or traditional) clotting factor has a half-life of 8-12 hours in most people with hemophilia A.5

Extended (or prolonged) clotting factor has a longer half-life so it stays in your blood longer.5

What is a PK profile?

Pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles are created by combining factor-related data points for an individual patient. HCPs can then use an individual’s PK profile to better understand how quickly the patient’s body breaks down treatment and therefore how to tailor treatment to meet that patient’s specific needs.7

HCPs can use this data as well to help tailor an individual’s treatment based on how they compare to known symptom and treatment efficacy information.7

Tracking your bleeds and treatment

You can help your HCP 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.8 You can ask your HCP or HTC about PK profiling options that are available to you to help individualize you or your child’s hemophilia treatment.6

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There's help for inhibitors, too

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Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) provide a range of education and support services.

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  1. Hemophilia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/hemophilia. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  2. Treatment of hemophilia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/treatment.html. Reviewed March 11, 2019. Accessed August 26, 2019.
  3. Hemophilia: from plasma to recombinant factors. American Society of Hematology website. https://www.hematology.org/About/History/50-Years/1524.aspx. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  4. Hemophilia A. National Hemophilia Foundation website. https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Hemophilia-A. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  5. National Hemophilia Foundation. Role of new prolonged half-life clotting factors in hemophilia. https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/PHLBrochure.pdf. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  6. Carvalho J. Population-based pharmacokinetic dosing may benefit hemophilia A patients, study reports. Hemophilia News Today website. https://hemophilianewstoday.com/2019/03/25/population-based-pharmacokinetics-improves-treatment-adherence/. Published March 25, 2019. Accessed August 21, 2019.
  7. Iorio A. Using pharmacokinetics to individualize hemophilia therapy. Hematology Am Soc Educ Program. 2017;2017(1):595-604. http://asheducationbook.hematologylibrary.org/content/2017/1/595.full.pdf+html. Published December 8, 2017. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  8. Metcalf E. Manage hemophilia with a personal health record. HemAware website. https://hemaware.org/bleeding-disorders-z/manage-hemophilia-personal-health-record. Published May 1, 2010. Accessed August 21, 2019.

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