hemin

Generic Name: hemin (HEE min)
Brand Name: Panhematin

What is hemin?

Hemin is an enzyme inhibitor that is made from red blood cells. It works by lowering the production of a certain enzyme in the body.

Hemin is used to treat the symptoms of occasional attacks of porphyria related to the menstrual cycle in women. Hemin helps control symptoms such as pain, increased heart rate or blood pressure, and changes in mental status.

Hemin should not be used to treat porphyria cutanea tarda.

Hemin is not a cure for porphyria. It will only control the symptoms of a porphyria episode.

Hemin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about hemin?

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Using too much hemin could be harmful to your kidneys. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hemin.

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Before using hemin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex rubber.

Also tell your doctor if you take birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, a blood thinner, steroids, or a barbiturate sedative.

Hemin is made from human blood and may contain viruses and other infectious agents that can cause disease. Although donated human blood is screened, tested, and treated to reduce the risk of it containing anything that could cause disease, there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using hemin?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to hemin.

Before using hemin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex rubber.

FDA pregnancy category C. Hemin may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether hemin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Hemin is made from human blood and may contain viruses and other infectious agents that can cause disease. Although donated human blood is screened, tested, and treated to reduce the risk of it containing anything that could cause disease, there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

How should I use hemin?

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Using too much hemin could be harmful to your kidneys. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Hemin is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to use your medicine at home. Do not self-inject hemin if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used in giving the medicine.

For best results from this medication, start using it at the first sign of a porphyria attack.

Hemin injected through an IV infusion can take 10 or 15 minutes to complete. You may need to use hemin daily for up to 2 weeks depending on how your body responds to the medication.

Hemin powder must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) just before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medication.

After mixing hemin with the diluent, shake the mixture for 2 or 3 full minutes to help the medication dissolve completely.

Give the injection right away after mixing the medication. Do not save it for later use. Throw away any unused mixture after giving your injection.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your urine may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store unmixed hemin powder in the refrigerator.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include urinating less than usual or not at all.

What should I avoid while using hemin?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using hemin.

Hemin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using hemin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • fever;

  • easy bruising or bleeding; or

  • swelling, pain, or irritation around the IV needle.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect hemin?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;

  • a steroid medication; or

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with hemin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about hemin

Consumer resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about hemin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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