Antihemophilic Factor (Intravenous)

An antihemophilic factor (AHF) injection is prescribed for patients with hemophilia A to stop bleeding incidents occurring as a result of a wound or surgery.

Overview

Antihemophilic factor (AHF) injection helps to stop and improve severe bleeding occurrences in patients with hemophilia A. This is a bleeding problem that could be related to a surgery or a wound (trauma). The human body instinctively creates AHF because it aids the blood in the formation of blood clots, which better encourages bleeding to stop. This also causes it to stop occurring as much in the future.

Hemophilia A occurs when the body cannot produce an adequate amount of AHF. Blood cannot form clots correctly if it already does not have sufficient AHF and becomes injured. If the body bleeds internally, it can bleed into and harm the joints and muscles. The aim of the AHF injection is to raise the AHF levels within the blood.

AHF comes in several forms. Human blood naturally makes it, and it can also be manmade through a recombinant process. There are likely not any unsafe viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that instigates acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis B, or hepatitis C in the AHF that comes from human blood. Artificial AHF does not contain such diseases, either.

A patient must obtain a prescription for an antihemophilic factor (AHF) injection to receive it. A doctor can also give additional advice and will be sure that the patient will have a reduced chance of experiencing side effects from potential food or medicine interactions.

Brand Names

There are several brand names for the antihemophilic factor (AHF) injection, including:

  • Advate
  • Adynovate
  • Eloctate
  • Helixate FS
  • Hemofil-M
  • HyateC
  • Koate DVI
  • Kogenate FS
  • Monarc-M
  • Monoclate-P
  • Obizur
  • Xyntha

Prior to Injection

When contemplating whether or not an individual should have an injection, they should compare and contrast the side effects of the medication against how much it will help the patient. The doctor and the patient must work together to figure out if this is the right decision for the patient. See the summary on Warnings and Interactions for more information.

Allergies

Be sure the physician is informed if there are any allergic or uncommon reactions to the medication including hives, skin rash, or any other skin abnormalities. Stop using the medication immediately if an allergic reaction occurs and consult a doctor. The health care professional needs to also be aware of any other allergies (for example to animals, foods, preservatives, or dyes).

Any allergies to mice, antihemophilic factor (human) should be disclosed to the physician. Allergies to drugs similar to this medication should also be disclosed to the physician.

The closure of the container (vial) is comprised of natural, dry rubber (a byproduct of latex). This can trigger an allergic reaction for individuals who are sensitive around latex. Be sure to let the doctor know if the patient has a latex allergy prior to receiving this medication.

Condition(s) treated?

  • Hemophilia A

Type of medicine

  • Antihemophilic factor injection

Side Effects

The following side effects may not occur for patients, but if they occur they will require medical attention. Consult a physician immediately if any of these side effects are experienced:

More Common Side Effects (Medical care required)

  • Fever

Less Common/Rare Side Effects (Medical care required)

  • Breathing irregularities (fast)
  • Breathing trouble
  • Chest tightness
  • Chills
  • Eyelid swelling or puffiness
  • Hot sensations, warmth, heat, burning
  • Nausea
  • Numb feelings, tingling or tightness
  • Skin color changes (facial)
  • Skin rash, itching, or hives
  • Tiredness or weakness (unusual)

Side Effects - Incidence Not Known (Medical care required)

  • Bluish color of the skin, lips, fingernails, nail beds, or palms
  • Breathing difficulty (or noisy)
  • Breathing irregularities (deep or fast with dizziness)
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying down position
  • Heartbeat irregularities quickness or pounding
  • Numbness of the feet, mouth, or hands
  • Pulse irregularities
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the tongue, face, or throat
  • Swelling or puffiness near the lips, tongue, eyes, or eyelids
  • Vision blurred
  • Weakness or tiredness (unusual)

Occasionally, side effects happen to patients but these do not require medical care. As the body becomes more familiar with the medication and learns how to react to it, these side effects can improve on their own. It is important to consult a physician with all side effects experienced, if any. A doctor will know how to prevent or reduce certain side effects, and can discuss bothersome symptoms or answer questions.

Consult a physician if any of these side effects are especially bothersome, or if you have general questions about them:

More Common Side Effects (Medical care not required)

  • Headache

Less Common Side Effects (Medical care not required)

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Face redness
  • Mouth dryness (or bad taste)
  • Injection area burning, swelling, or stinging
  • Nosebleed
  • Strength loss
  • Vomiting

Rare Side Effects (Medical care not required)

  • Taste sense lost
  • Taste bud changes

Side Effects - Incidence Not Known (Medical care not required)

  • Bone/muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Redness of the eye, face, arms, neck, upper chest, other skin
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Warm feelings
  • Vision difficulty

Some patients may experience additional side effects that are unlisted. It is highly important to always consult a healthcare professional if other side effects are noticed.

Consult a physician for medical direction. Side effects may also be reported to the FDA (1-800-FDA-1088).

Dosage

A trained health professional or doctor will give this medicine to the patient in a clinic or hospital setting. The medication is given by means of a needle into a vein of the patient.

Patients who will not need to be in a clinic or hospital can receive the medication at home. The doctor or physician will be sure the patient or caretaker is familiar with how to get ready to inject the medication. It is important that the patient or caretaker understands every step of instructions prior to giving an injection. The dose can be adjusted according to the area that is bleeding. Be sure not to exceed the rate or amount of medication in the physician's instructions.

The only brand of medication that should be used is the one that was prescribed by the doctor. Various brands are prepared differently, and they may even have dissimilar doses.

There is an instruction manual that is distributed with each package of the medication. Ensure all instructions are followed and read cautiously. Consult a physician if there are any questions.

Preparation Instructions

For preparation with two containers or bottles (vials):

  1. Remove the containers of powder medication and liquid diluent from the refrigerator.
  2. Warm the bottles to room temperature.
  3. Clean the rubber portion of the bottles thoroughly with an alcohol wipe; allow them to dry.
  4. While preparing the injection, ensure to follow the precise instructions for your brand of medication.
  5. Using the transfer device or transfer needle that came with the set, carefully add the liquid to the powder.
  6.  Be sure to point the stream of liquid toward the back wall of the dry medicine container when mixing to avoid fizzing.
  7. Do not shake; mix the combination by gently swirling the bottle. Shaking the bottle will not work and will only produce foam inside.
  8.  Monitor the medication to ensure the color is translucent. If there are solid pieces in the combination, it should not be used. Do not use the mixture if it is cloudy.
  9. Empty the mixture from the container with a one-use plastic syringe. A filter needle should be used if the medication supplied one.
  10. Follow the instructions given by your physician.
  11. If the medication requires two bottles for the dose, follow the previous instructions to mix the second bottle the same way as the first was mixed.
  12. Take the mixture from the last bottle and empty medication with the same syringe.

For preparation with a prefilled dual-champer syringe, such as Xyntha®:

  1. Remove the prefilled dual-chamber syringe from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature. Note: The powder medication is stored in one portion of the dual-chamber syringe, and the diluent liquid mixture is in the second portion of the syringe.
  2.  Fasten the syringe to the plunger rod while following the instructions. Ensure the syringe is pointed up, otherwise leaking of liquid will occur.
  3. Detach the grey rubber tip cap and the white seal.
  4. Fasten the blue-vented cap to the syringe tip. Use caution not to touch the blue cap and the exposed ends of the syringe.
  5. Carefully push the unit until both stoppers within the syringe are together. This ensures all liquid is forced into the chamber with the powder medication.
  6. Carefully swirl the syringe to combine the powder and liquid, and keep the syringe pointed upward.
  7. Monitor the medication to ensure the color is translucent. If there are solid pieces in the combination, it should not be used. Do not use the mixture if it is cloudy.
  8. Push the unit while keeping the syringe pointing upwards. Remove most of the air within the container.
  9. The package includes an infusion set - detach the blue cap and fasten the syringe to the infusion set.
  10. Administer the injection according to the instructions given by the prescribing physician.
  11. If the medication requires two syringes for the dose, follow the previous instructions to mix the second dual-chamber syringe the same way as the first was mixed.
  12. The medication from each container will be mixed together in a different syringe prior to injection. Ask the physician for more information regarding how to do this.

Note: Be sure to use the medication within 3 to 4 hours of being mixed. Do not store this medication for later use. Do not store the medication in the refrigerator.

Be sure not to use needles and syringes more than once. Dispose of needles in a disposable container that is puncture-resistant, or follow disposal instructions from your physician.

Dosing

Different patients will require different doses of this medication. Be sure to abide by the prescription label directions and the doctor's orders. Consult your physician to find out how much is right for you.

The strength of the medication determines how much medicine can be taken in one dose. The total number of doses taken per day, the length of time it takes to take the medicine, and the total time between each dose are dependent on the patient's unique medical issue for which they need the medication.

Injection Dosage

For patients with hemophilia A who experience bleeding occurrences:

Patients can receive dosage information from their physician only. The dose is calculated from the kind of bleeding episode and body weight.

Missed Dose

Consult a pharmacist or doctor for information.

Overdose

Contact the poison control center immediately or get medical care as fast as possible. Be sure to have information ready regarding when the overdose occurred, what was taken, and how much.

Interactions

Drug Interactions

In certain cases, some medicines should not be combined under any circumstances. Other times, two medications can be used simultaneously even if there is a chance of possible interaction. During instances where it is okay to combine the medications, the doctor may adjust the dose of one or may take other precautions.

Other Interactions

Discuss with your doctor the use of the medication with food, tobacco, or alcohol use.

Warnings

Blood tests could be required before, during, or after this medication is being received. It is important to be sure the medicine is working the way it should be. The doctor must monitor the patient closely during this time.

Allergic reactions can occur while this medication is being administered, and after the patient has had the injection. Anaphylaxis is one allergic reaction that can occur. Anaphylaxis is extremely dangerous as it is deadly and demands emergency medical care. Consult a doctor immediately if the patient is experiencing itching, difficulty breathing, rashes, hoarseness, lightheadedness, swelling (mouth, face, or hands), difficulty swallowing, or dizziness after the medication is administered.

It is important to have an identification (ID) card expressing that the patient has hemophilia A. The type of medication should be printed on this card, and it should be carried everywhere in a purse or wallet. A physician can answer any questions regarding the type of identification that should be carried.

Consult a doctor immediately if the patient has symptoms of parvovirus infection. These symptoms include runny nose, chills, drowsiness, fever, joint pain, or rash.

Seek medical attention right away if there is tenderness or pain in the upper stomach, loss of appetite, pale stools, atypical weakness or tiredness, dark urine, yellow skin or eyes, or nausea. These symptoms could be first signs of liver issue.

This medication is naturally made from donated human blood. There is a very low risk of receiving a transmitted virus after taking this medication. Donated blood and donors are tested to ensure the risk of transmission is low. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.

Discuss traveling plans with your doctor as soon as possible as adequate medicine should be prescribed for treatment while traveling.

Specific Demographic Use

Pediatric

There have not yet been pediatric-specific studies that have demonstrated problems limiting the effectiveness of antihemophilic factor injection for children. It has not yet been confirmed whether or not this medication is effective and safe for children. There is no information presented regarding the age of a patient taking Hemofil® M.

Geriatric

There have not been any geriatric-specific issues identified when studying the correlation of age to side effects of Advate®, Eloctateâ„¢, Kogenate® FS, Kovaltry®, Novoeight®, or Xyntha®.

Age-related medical issues are more likely to take place for patients who are elderly. These types of issues require additional caution and a change in dose. There is not any documentation regarding the correlation of age to the side effects of antihemophilic factor injection for patients who are geriatric.

Pregnancy

An adverse effect is present in animal studies but similar research in pregnant women has not been done, or there are no similar studies in pregnant women and no animal studies have taken place. Discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. There are some risks and benefits that will need to be discussed regarding the use of this medication while pregnant.

Breastfeeding

While breastfeeding, compare and contrast the risk of using antihemophilic factor injection. This medication has shown to pose a slight risk to the baby if used while breastfeeding. However, adequate studies are not present when defining risk to the baby to determine what the risk is. Be sure to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Storage

Keep out of reach of children.

Be sure to cautiously follow all directions regarding storage of this medication. Various brands of human antihemophilic factor may have different storage directions specific to the brand.

Store the diluent and medication in the container it came in and keep it in the refrigerator. It should not be frozen. Prior to dosage, the items should be taken out of the refrigerator and brought to room temperature. The AHF products can alternatively be stored at room temperature for 3-12 months at a time.

Note the expiration date on the label and do not store the medication any longer than that date. Certain medications allow for the medication to be kept at room temperature until the date on the expiration label, or several months; whichever comes first. Carefully follow the storage information on the directions label.

If this medication is stored at room temperature, it should not be moved into the refrigerator. If the medication is moved out of the refrigerator to be stored at room temperature, be sure to note the date it is removed from the fridge on the container. The brand of medication will determine how long the medicine can be stored at room temperature.

The AHF products should be kept out of bright light and away from heat. Any medication that is leftover should be disposed of after the expiration date. Consult a physician to determine how leftover medication should be disposed of if it is not used.

Summary

Antihemophilic Factor (Intravenous Route) is a medication that is helpful in the treatment and prevention of serious bleeding episodes for patients with hemophilia A. These patients may be experiencing bleeding episodes due to an injury or surgery. Individuals should examine the risks and benefits clearly prior to taking this medication. The doctor must ensure the medication will not cause any adverse effects, which is why an accurate medical history is important to share. Individuals with allergies must take extra caution to alert their physician of these as well.

Patients must carefully watch out for side effects and report them to their healthcare professional if they experience any. Certain side effects do not require immediate medical care, but it is important to be proactive. Ensure to always follow the directions on the container, and consult the physician with any questions regarding dosage or general information regarding an antihemophilic factor (AHF) injection.

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Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 02, 2018
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