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Replacement Therapy for Von Willebrand's Disease

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Topic Overview

Replacement therapy is a treatment that replaces something that's missing or not working well in your body. People with von Willebrand's disease don't have von Willebrand factor, or it doesn't work well enough to help clot their blood. This disease can be treated by injecting (infusing) a purified form of clotting factors into a vein. These clotting factors include von Willebrand factor and factor VIII. Infusions of clotting factors help blood to clot normally.

Replacement therapy injections (also called infusions) may be used with people who:

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  • Do not respond to desmopressin (DDAVP, Stimate).
  • Cannot tolerate desmopressin.
  • Have severe type 2 or type 3 von Willebrand's disease.
  • Have severe bleeding, from an injury or an unknown cause.

You may get this medicine in a hospital or take it at home. Patients often learn to inject themselves at home. But a doctor or nurse can give the shots too.

Replacement therapy doesn't always work well, because the body may stop the newly introduced von Willebrand factor from working.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 26, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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