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Facilitating home-based treatment of hereditary angioedema

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Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare disorder causing periodic attacks of nonpruritic swelling, for which highly effective subcutaneous and intravenous therapies are available. The need to seek ongoing medical attention for HAE attacks at clinics and hospitals adds to the already considerable burden of the disease. Recent international consensus treatment guidelines have emphasized home-based therapy as a preferred managed strategy whenever possible. Here, we review various strategies for facilitating home-based treatment with injectable HAE medications (plasma-derived C1 esterase inhibitor [C1-INH], ecallantide, icatibant, and recombinant C1-INH). Medical literature relating to home-based treatment of HAE is reviewed and strategies for implementing home-based therapy are presented. Home-based treatment of HAE has been shown to reduce the time to initiation of treatment, reduce the duration and severity of attacks, and improve patients' quality of life. Several options are available to facilitate home treatment of HAE. Medical staff in a primary care setting can be educated in the care of HAE patients and can teach the technique of parenteral drug administration. Home care agencies and specialty pharmacies are present in most communities and specialize in patient education. Infusion centers are skilled at working with patients with chronic diseases who perform extensive self-care. HAE comprehensive care clinics provide expert diagnosis and disease management and may become the patient's primary source of HAE care. Home-based therapy of HAE has been shown to be safe and clinically advantageous. Various strategies are available for equipping HAE patients to administer their treatments outside of a medical facility.
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Keywords: HAE comprehensive care clinics; Hereditary angioedema; ecallantide; home care agencies; home therapy; icatibant; infusion centers; plasma-derived C1-esterase inhibitor; recombinant C1-esterase inhibitor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Publication date: 01 March 2015

This article was made available online on 30 December 2014 as a Fast Track article with title: "Facilitating home-based treatment of hereditary angioedema".

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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