Alphanate® is a preparation used to stop or control bleeding in patients with hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. It is administered by injection, and dosage depends on the indication for which it is being used, and the severity thereof. In most countries Alphanate® is available by prescription only and it may be known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer.
The human clotting process, which allows for the formation of a blood clot to stop bleeding after an injury, is a complicated cascade of processes involving the blood, platelets and various proteins called clotting factors. There are a number of different clotting disorders which may be caused by a deficiency or lack of one of these factors. If the deficiency is very small, the disease may go unnoticed throughout life but, in the case of a bigger deficiency, or complete lack of the specific factor, these clotting disorders may be life-threatening.
Von Willebrand disease is caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor, which is involved in the carrying of Factor VIII, an essential protein in the clotting process. People with hemophilia A, the most common version of hemophilia, lack the actual Factor VIII. In both of these conditions, the clotting process cannot be completed and bleeding does not stop. Alphanate® allows the clotting process to continue as it should.
Alphanate ® may used in two different settings: in the treatment of bleeding after an acute injury and to prevent bleeding in the case of surgery. The dose, when used in patients with hemophilia, is calculated using a formula which includes the body weight of the patient and the desired increase in Factor VIII. The severity of the bleeding, or expected bleeding risk, is also factored into the calculation.
When used prophylactically during surgery in patients with von Willebrand disease, the dose and the duration of treatmentof Alphanate® is established by the severity of the procedure, i.e. minor or major. The ratio of the constituents in the Alphanate® may differ from batch to batch and this must be kept in mind when determining the correct dose.
As with any medication, Alphanate® may cause adverse side effects, which should be reported to the treating doctor immediately, should they occur. Fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and headache are some of the adverse effects which have been reported. The administration of Alphanate® should only be performed by a trained person, under sterile conditions.