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What are treatments for hemophilia?
The mainstay of treatment is replacement of the blood clotting factors. Clotting factor concentrates can be purified from human donor blood or made in the laboratory using methods that do not use donor blood. This type of therapy is known as replacement therapy. Clotting factor replacement therapy is carried out by infusing the clotting factor concentrates into a vein, much like a blood transfusion. This type of therapy can be administered at home with proper instruction and training.
Depending upon the severity of the condition, replacement therapy may be carried out on an as-needed basis (called demand therapy) or on a regular basis to prevent bleeding episodes (known as prophylactic therapy).
People who have mild cases of hemophilia A are sometimes treated with the drug desmopressin, also known as DDAVP. This drug stimulates release of more clotting factor by the body. It is administered either slowly through the intravenous route (IV) or occasionally, in nasal spray form.
Pain relievers may be prescribed for symptom relief, but pain relievers other than aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as naproxen, ibuprofen) must be used, since these types of drugs further inhibit the blood's ability to clot. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) is often given for pain relief.