Preventing HAE Attacks

Preventive therapy

The first type of therapy for HAE is preventive therapy, also known as prophylaxis. Prophylaxis is usually desirable when a patient has frequent attacks or treatment of acute attacks does not provide the patient with sufficiently fast relief.

Androgens

To help prevent attacks, your doctor may prescribe medications known as androgens. Androgens are male hormones. The most commonly prescribed androgens for HAE are the attenuated androgens danazol, stanozolol, and oxandrolone. “Attenuated” means that the male hormone in the medicine is not as potent as the natural male hormone in the body. Still, these drugs are rarely appropriate for children and are not always well tolerated by women. You and your doctor should discuss the use and side effects of these medications. 4, 8

Antifibrinolytics

Antifibrinolytics are medications that are used less often than attenuated androgens in the treatment of HAE. These include tranexamic acid (TXA) and epsilon-aminocaproic acid (EACA). Because antifibrinolytics can have highly undesirable side effects, their use is generally limited to people who suffer frequent and/or severe attacks and cannot tolerate other medications. 4

C1-INH product

C1-INH (complement 1 esterase inhibitor) therapy works by replacing the missing or malfunctioning C1-INH protein in patients with a C1-INH deficiency. To help prevent attacks from occurring, regular infusions of C-INH with an indication for prophylaxis can be given. 6

As you would with any medicine, discuss these options for preventing HAE attacks with your physician.

Getting treatment

A physician who is experienced in the treatment of HAE can help you determine when and how medications can be used to treat or prevent attacks. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

If you have trouble locating a specialist, you may want to contact the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association. This organization maintains a robust list of doctors across the country who treat people living with hereditary angioedema.

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Acute HAE treatment

Learn about a treatment for acute HAE attacks in adults and adolescents. Find out more.

FAQs about treating HAE

Questions about treating HAE? You’re not alone. Read the questions of other people learning how to treat HAE and see how they were answered. Find out more in Questions on Treating HAE.

Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA)

Learn about the HAEA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expediting US approval of safer and more effective HAE therapies. Visit HAEA.org