JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The safety of treatments for angioedema with hereditary C1 inhibitor deficiency

Andrea Zanichelli, Maddalena Alessandra Wu, Arnaldo Andreoli, Marta Mansi, Marco Cicardi
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 2015, 14 (11): 1725-36
26429506

INTRODUCTION: Angioedema is a localized and self-limiting edema of the subcutaneous and submucosal tissue. Hereditary angioedema with C1 inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is the best characterized form of hereditary angioedema. In C1-INH-HAE, the reduced plasma levels of C1-INH cause instability of the contact system with release of bradykinin, the key mediator of angioedema. C1-INH-HAE is characterized by recurrent skin swelling, abdominal pain, and potentially life-threatening upper airways obstruction. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms leading from C1-INH deficiency to angioedema allowed the development of several therapies.

AREAS COVERED: The aim of this review article is to discuss the safety of currently available treatments of C1-INH-HAE. The authors give an insight on the mechanism of action and safety profile of drugs for treatment of acute attacks and for short- and long-term prophylaxis. Evidence from systematic reviews, clinical trials, retrospective studies, and case reports is summarized in this review.

EXPERT OPINION: C1-INH-HAE is a disabling, life-threatening condition that lasts life-long. Different therapeutic approaches with different drugs provide significant benefit to patients. Safety profiles of these therapies are critical for optimal therapeutic decision and need to be known by C1-INH-HAE treating physicians for appropriate risk/benefit evaluation.

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