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Zemaira

Generic Name: alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor (AL fa 1-PRO tee nase in HIB i tor)
Brand Name: Aralast, Aralast NP, Glassia, Prolastin, Prolastin-C, Zemaira

What is alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is a protein, also called alpha 1-antitrypsin. This protein occurs naturally in the body and is important for preventing the breakdown of tissues in the lungs.

In people who lack the alpha 1-antitrypsin protein, breakdown of lung tissues can lead to emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs).

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is used to treat alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency in people who have symptoms of emphysema.

Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic (inherited) disorder and alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor will not cure this condition.

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, or if you have an IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency or antibody against IgA.

Some brands of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before given as an injection. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly prepare and store your medicine.

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Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, mouth sores, pain or burning when you urinate, wheezing, chest pain or tightness, trouble breathing, or vision changes.

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but 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 alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, or if you have an IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency or antibody against IgA.

To make sure you can safely use alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease; or

  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing disorder.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor 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.

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but 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 alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is usually given once per week. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

You will most likely receive your first few doses of this medication in a hospital or clinic setting where your vital signs can be watched closely in case the medication causes serious side effects.

The Aralast, Prolastin, and Zemaira brands are powder forms of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor. The powder form of this medication must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before preparing your dose.

Do not shake the mixture or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Glassia is a liquid form of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor that does not need to be mixed with a diluent.

If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Each single use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Store the powder medicine (Aralast, Prolastin, Zemaira) at cool room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. The diluent bottle can break if it becomes frozen.

After mixing alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor powder with a diluent, you must use the mixture within 3 hours.

Store the liquid medicine (Glassia) in its original container in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Take the medication out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before preparing your dose. Use the medication within 3 hours after you have punctured the rubber stopper in the vial with a needle or IV spike.

Do not use alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor after the expiration date on the medicine label has passed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor side effects

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

Stop using alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • wheezing, chest pain or tightness, trouble breathing; or

  • vision changes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, bloating;

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness;

  • feeling tired;

  • back pain, joint or muscle pain;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough; or

  • mild itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?

There may be other drugs that can interact with alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor.
  • 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: 2.05. Revision Date: 2012-06-06, 3:05:09 PM.

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