This product contains human factor VIII (also called antihemophilic factor) and von Willebrand factor complex. Factors are proteins normally found in the blood that help the blood to thicken (clot) and stop any bleeding. People with low levels of factor VIII and von Willebrand factor are at risk for bleeding longer after an injury/surgery and for bleeding inside the body (especially into the joints and muscles). This product is used to temporarily replace the missing factors and reduce bleeding.
Different brands of this product have different amounts of these factors, and therefore different uses. These products are not interchangeable. Do not change brands of this medication without the approval of your doctor. Some products are used to control and prevent bleeding episodes in people with low levels of factor VIII (hemophilia A). Some products are used to treat bleeding episodes in people with low levels of von Willebrand factor (von Willebrand disease) who do not respond to or cannot tolerate desmopressin. Some products are used to prevent excessive bleeding during and after surgery in patients with von Willebrand disease.
This medication is given by slow injection into a vein as directed by your doctor. How fast you receive this medication depends on your dose and how you respond to it. See Side Effects section.
This medication is given in a hemophilia treatment center or hospital. In some cases, patients may be able to give this medication to themselves at home. If your doctor directs you to give this medication at home, read the product information available from your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Learn all preparation and usage instructions in the product package. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.
If the medication and the solution used to mix it were refrigerated, bring both to room temperature before combining. After adding the solution to the powder, gently swirl the vial to completely dissolve the powder. Do not shake the vial. Before using this product, check it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. After the medication is mixed, use immediately.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, blood test results, and response to treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions closely. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Flushing of the face, nausea, vomiting, and fast heartbeat may sometimes occur and can be lessened by giving this medication more slowly. Burning/redness/irritation at the injection site, fever, chills, and numbness/tingling of the hands/feet may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of anemia (e.g., tiredness, low energy, pale skin color, shortness of breath), new or worsening bleeding/bruising.
This medication may rarely cause serious blood clots. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: pain/redness/swelling/weakness of the arms or legs, calf pain/swelling that is warm to the touch, coughing up blood, chest/jaw/left arm pain, sudden vision changes, confusion, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, sudden severe headache, fainting.
This medication is made from human blood. There is a very small chance that you may get infections from this medication (e.g., viral infections such as hepatitis), even though careful screening of blood donors, special manufacturing processes, and many tests are all used to reduce this risk. Discuss the benefits and risks of treatment with your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs of hepatitis or other infection, including fever, persistent sore throat, unusual tiredness, unusual drowsiness, joint pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any clotting factor products; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
Manufacturers of some factor VIII products recommend that you monitor your heartbeat during treatment. If your heart starts to beat faster, it is recommended that you give this medication more slowly or temporarily stop the infusion until your heart rate returns to normal. Consult your doctor for more details.
Since this medication is made from human blood, there is a very small chance that you may get infections from it (e.g., viral infections such as hepatitis). It is recommended that you get the appropriate vaccinations (e.g., for hepatitis A and B) and that people giving this medication handle the medication with special caution to prevent virus infections. Consult your doctor for more details.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory blood tests (e.g., factor VIII levels, von Willebrand factor levels, clotting tests) should be performed frequently to determine your dosage and to check how well this medication is working. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is important to follow the dosing schedule as directed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the medication according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some brands of this medication can be stored at room temperature while other brands need to be refrigerated. Ask your pharmacist for more details about the brand you use. Do not freeze this product or store it in the bathroom. Protect the product from light. After each dose, throw away any unused portion. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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