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Hemin

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

Medically reviewed on August 23, 2017

What is hemin?

Hemin is made of red blood cells processed from human blood. Hemin 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 that affects the skin, also called 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 purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use hemin if you are allergic to it.

To make sure hemin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Hemin 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.

It is not known whether hemin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether hemin passes into breast milk or if it could affect a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Hemin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.

How should I use hemin?

Before you start treatment with hemin, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you are having an actual porphyria attack.

Hemin is usually given after other medicines to treat porphyria have been given for a certain amount of time.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Using too much hemin could harm your kidneys.

Hemin is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.

For best results, start using hemin at the first sign of a porphyria attack.

You may need to use hemin once or twice per day for up to 2 weeks, depending on how your body responds to the medicine.

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

Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection

After mixing the powder with the diluent, shake the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.

Give the injection right away after mixing. Do not save it for later use. Throw away any unused mixture after one use. The hemin and diluent mixture does not contain a preservative.

While using hemin, you may need frequent blood and urine tests.

Store at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of hemin.

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 using hemin?

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

Hemin side effects

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

Stop using hemin and call your doctor at once if you have:

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

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • little or no urinating; or

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath.

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)

Hemin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Porphyria:

1 to 4 mg/kg/day IV for 3 to 14 days based on clinical signs; in more severe cases, this dose may be repeated no earlier than every 12 hours.

Maximum dose: 6 mg/kg per 24 hours

Comments: For moderate to severe attacks, immediate treatment with this drug is recommended. Symptoms of severe attacks are severe or prolonged pain, persistent vomiting, hyponatremia, convulsion, psychosis, and neuropathy.

Use: Amelioration of recurrent attacks of acute intermittent porphyria temporally related to the menstrual cycle in susceptible women, after initial carbohydrate therapy is known or suspected to be inadequate.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Porphyria:

16 Years or Older:
1 to 4 mg/kg/day IV for 3 to 14 days based on clinical signs; in more severe cases, this dose may be repeated no earlier than every 12 hours.

Maximum dose: 6 mg/kg per 24 hours

Comments: For moderate to severe attacks, immediate treatment with this drug is recommended. Symptoms of severe attacks are severe or prolonged pain, persistent vomiting, hyponatremia, convulsion, psychosis, and neuropathy.

Use: Amelioration of recurrent attacks of acute intermittent porphyria temporally related to the menstrual cycle in susceptible women, after initial carbohydrate therapy is known or suspected to be inadequate.

What other drugs will affect hemin?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with hemin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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