Icatibant for hereditary angioedema

Jordi Gras
Drugs of Today 2009, 45 (12): 855-64
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an autosomal dominant, potentially life-threatening disease, characterized by recurrent self-limiting bouts of edema mainly involving the extremities, genitalia, face, intestines and airways. The prevalence of HAE in the general population has been estimated to be in the range of 1:10,000 to 1:150,000. Currently, acute attacks of HAE are treated mainly symptomatically, with poor outcomes. Recently, it has been demonstrated that bradykinin (BK) is responsible for most of the symptoms of HAE. Icatibant (Firazyr, HOE 140, JE049) is a potent, specific and selective B2 BK receptor antagonist that has recently been approved by the EMEA for the treatment of HAE. In phase III clinical trials, 30 mg of subcutaneous icatibant demonstrated rapid and stable relief from symptoms in cutaneous, abdominal or laryngeal HAE attacks. Local site reactions after subcutaneous injection of icatibant were observed, however, these reactions were mild to moderate in severity and resolved spontaneously and quickly. Icatibant is a new, safe and effective treatment for acute attacks of HAE.

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