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Healthcare providers prescribe Kalbitor to treat sudden hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks, which cause sudden swelling of the face, hands, feet, or abdomen (stomach). This medication is given as three separate injections just under the skin (subcutaneously). Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects are possible and can include nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.

What Is Kalbitor?

Kalbitor® (ecallantide) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of sudden hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks. HAE is a rare, hereditary disease of the immune system that causes sudden swelling in certain parts of the body, such as the face, hands, feet, abdomen (stomach), and larynx (throat). This medication is given by injection and is administered just under the skin (subcutaneously).
(Click Kalbitor Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Kalbitor is manufactured by Jubilant HollisterStier, LLC, for Dyax Corp.

How Does Kalbitor Work?

Kalbitor blocks the activity of a protein in the body called plasma kallikrein. In the body, plasma kallikrein converts a chemical known as kininogen into another chemical, bradykinin. Bradykinin causes veins in your body to dilate, or widen.
During an HAE attack, too much bradykinin is made and your veins can leak fluid; this can cause swelling and pain. By blocking the activity of plasma kallikrein, less bradykinin is made; therefore, there is less swelling and pain.

Clinical Effects

In clinical studies looking at Kalbitor as a treatment for sudden hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks, the medication was shown to improve symptoms of HAE attacks. People who used Kalbitor had fewer HAE attack symptoms compared to those who had received a placebo (an injection that does not contain any active ingredients).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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