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- What is dornase alpha, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for dornase alpha?
- Is dornase alpha available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for dornase alpha?
- What are the side effects of dornase alpha?
- What is the dosage for dornase alpha?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with dornase alpha?
- Is dornase alpha safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about dornase alpha?
What is dornase alpha, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Dornase alpha is an inhaled drug for treating cystic fibrosis, a lung disease which is the most common fatal genetic disease in developed countries. The lungs continually secrete fluid into the airways to keep them moist. In cystic fibrosis, the fluid becomes thick because the amount of water it contains is reduced. The thickened fluid is difficult to cough up or spit out. It blocks the airways, making breathing difficult and promoting the growth of bacteria and infection. Infection destroys the tissues of the lungs, and it is the slowly progressive destruction of the lungs that is the major cause of disability and death in children with cystic fibrosis. The thick fluid contains high concentrations of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Dornase alpha is a genetically engineered form of the human enzyme, deoxyribonuclease or DNAse. Dornase alpha breaks down the DNA and thereby reduces the thickness of the fluids. Dornase alpha was approved by the FDA in 1993.
What are the side effects of dornase alpha?
The most common side effects of dornase alpha include:
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
What is the dosage for dornase alpha?
The recommended dose is one ampule (2.5 ml) inhaled once or twice daily using a recommended nebulizer.
Which drugs or supplements interact with dornase alpha?
Drug interaction studies have not been conducted. Dornase alpha is compatible with standard cystic fibrosis therapies including oral, inhaled and/or parenteral antibiotics, bronchodilators, enzyme supplements, vitamins, oral or inhaled corticosteroids, and analgesics.
Is dornase alpha safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
No damage has been noted to fetuses of pregnant animals exposed to high doses of dornase alpha. However, there are no studies in women. Therefore, physicians must weigh potential risks with the expected benefits of therapy when deciding whether or not to use dornase alpha in pregnancy.
It is not known whether dornase alpha is secreted in human milk. At most, very little dornase alpha would be expected in human milk after long-term aerosol use. However, because many drugs are secreted in human milk, physicians must still use caution when they consider the use of dornase alpha in nursing women.
What else should I know about dornase alpha?
What preparations of dornase alpha are available?
Single-use ampules; 2.5 ml (1 mg/ml)
How should I keep dornase alpha stored?
Dornase alpha must be kept in a refrigerator at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F) and protected from direct sunlight. The solution should be thrown away if it is cloudy or discolored. Since the ampule does not contain a preservative, the entire contents of the ampule must be used or thrown away after it is opened.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
Dornase alpha (Pulmozyme) is a drug prescribed for the long-term treatment of cystic fibrosis. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the SERPINA1 gene. People with the condition are at risk for developing serious lung and liver disease. Symptoms and signs of lung disease caused by this condition include:
The earliest symptoms and signs of lung disease usually develop between 20 and 50 years of age, and are
- The reduced ability to exercise
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea) following mild activity
Other symptoms and signs of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency are:
- Rapid heartbeat when going from sitting to standing
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- Unintentional weight loss
Lung disease: People with this condition often develop emphysema, with symptoms of a hacking cough, barrel-shaped chest, and difficulty breathing. If you have this condition and smoke or are exposed to tobacco smoke, it accelerates the appearance of emphysema symptoms and lung damage.
Liver disease: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency also cause liver disease in some people with the condition, that include liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, an abnormally large liver (hepatomegaly), liver failure, and hepatitis. Liver damage from alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency causes symptom of a swollen abdomen, swollen legs or feet, and jaundice.
Treatment of AATD depends upon the severity of symptoms. FDA approved drug for AATD is an orphan product called alpha-1-proteinase inhibitor (human), sold under the brand name "Prolastin."
Biologics Biologic Drug Class
A biologic drug is a product that is produced from living organisms or contain components of living organisms. Biologics include recombinant proteins, tissues, genes, allergens, cells, blood components, blood, and vaccines. Biologics are used to treat numerous disease and conditions, for example:
- Chronic migraine
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- HPV prevention
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Side effects of biologics depend upon the specific biologic drug; however, common side effects may include:
- High blood glucose levels
Drug interactions, preparations, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to administering these drugs.
Cystic FibrosisCystic fibrosis is a disease of the mucus and sweat glands. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. The outcome of the disease leaves the body malnourished, bulky and fouls smelling stools, vitamin insufficiency, gas, painful or swollen abdomen, infertility, susceptible to heat emergencies, and respiratory failure. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, treatment of symptoms is used to manage the disease.
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