Those who have a genetic condition called hereditary angioedema (HAE) may receive Firazyr. This prescription medicine is used on an as-needed basis to treat a sudden attack of HAE, which causes swelling beneath the skin. It is given as an injection just under the skin of the abdomen (stomach). Side effects may include dizziness, fever, and reactions at the injection site.
Firazyr® (icatibant) is a prescription medication approved to treat acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE), a rare genetic condition that causes sudden episodes of swelling beneath the skin. Firazyr belongs to a class of medicines known as bradykinin inhibitors.
Firazyr is made by Shire US Manufacturing, Inc., for Shire Orphan Therapies, Inc.
In clinical studies, Firazyr was shown to reduce symptoms associated with HAE attacks. In these studies, people were given either Firazyr or a placebo (an injection with no active ingredients) when they were experiencing an HAE attack. It took a median of 2 to 2.3 hours to reduce symptoms by 50 percent after Firazyr was given, compared with 19.8 hours after a placebo was given.
HAE is caused by a defect in the gene that controls the production of a protein known as C1 inhibitor (C1-INH). C1-INH helps regulate complex reactions in the body, including reactions that control the production of a chemical known as bradykinin.
People with HAE either do not have enough C1-INH or have C1-INH that does not function properly. As a result, too much bradykinin is produced in the body. Bradykinin causes blood vessels to dilate (enlarge) and leak fluid into surrounding tissue. This is thought to be responsible for the swelling and pain associated with HAE attacks.
Firazyr is classified as a bradykinin inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of bradykinin, thereby relieving the symptoms of an HAE attack.