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alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor (cont.)

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:

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.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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