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How are acute porphyria and porphyria cutanea tarda treated?

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Outbreaks of symptoms of acute porphyria often require hospitalization. Patients may be given medicine for pain, nausea, and vomiting. They'll often get glucose or hemin (Panhematin) injections. Panhematin is the only heme therapy approved for use in the U.S.

Severe attacks of acute porphyria can cause lasting nerve damage and muscle weakness that can take months to get better.

Treatment of cutaneous porphyria depends on the specific type and the severity of the symptoms. Treatment of porphyria cutanea tarda can include:

  • Regular blood removal (phlebotomies) to reduce the amount of iron in the liver
  • Low doses of the antimalarial drug chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine
  • Avoidance of triggers
  • Treatment of any underlying condition such as HIV or hepatitis C

From: Porphyria WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Human Genome Research Institute: "Learning about Porphyria."

NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network: "Porphyria Overview," "Treatment and Prevention," "Acute Intermittent Porphyria," "Frequently Asked Questions"

American Porphyria Foundation: "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda," "Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria (CEP)," "Variegate Porphyria (VP)," "Hepatoerythropoietic Porphyria (HEP)," "ALAD-Deficiency Porphyria (ADP)," "About Porphyria."

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center: "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 16, 2017

SOURCES:

National Human Genome Research Institute: "Learning about Porphyria."

NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network: "Porphyria Overview," "Treatment and Prevention," "Acute Intermittent Porphyria," "Frequently Asked Questions"

American Porphyria Foundation: "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda," "Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria (CEP)," "Variegate Porphyria (VP)," "Hepatoerythropoietic Porphyria (HEP)," "ALAD-Deficiency Porphyria (ADP)," "About Porphyria."

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center: "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 16, 2017

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How is porphyria diagnosed?

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