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

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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