collagenase clostridium histolyticum, Xiaflex

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is collagenase clostridium histolyticum, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Xiaflex is an injectable formulation of purified collagenase derived from the bacterium, clostridium histolyticum. It is used for treating Dupuytren's contracture. A Dupuytren's contraction is caused by an abnormal accumulation of collagen (scar) in the tissue beneath the skin of the palm of the hand. The collagen binds the tissue to the skin of the palm, limiting the movement of the skin over the underlying tissues and preventing extension of the fingers. Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen. Xiaflex breaks down excessive collagen by disrupting its chemical structure. Reducing the accumulation of collagen improves movement of the affected fingers. The FDA approved Xiaflex in February 2010.

What brand names are available for collagenase clostridium histolyticum?


Is collagenase clostridium histolyticum available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for collagenase clostridium histolyticum?


What are the side effects of collagenase clostridium histolyticum?

The most common adverse reactions of Xiaflex are:

  • fluid retention (swelling of the injected hand),
  • contusion (bruising),
  • injection site bleeding,
  • injection site swelling,
  • pain in the treated hand, and
  • tenderness.

Tendon rupture or other serious injury to the injected hand may occur. Allergic reactions and development of antibodies to Xiaflex also may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2017
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