THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Firazyr (icatibant) has
been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat
acute (severe) attacks of hereditary angiodema (HAE) in adults.
The rare genetic condition is caused by low amounts of a protein
called C1 inhibitor. Fewer than 30,000 people in the United States
have the condition, the agency said in a news release. It causes
potential symptoms including rapid swelling of the hands, feet,
limbs, face, intestines and voice pipe.
Airway swelling puts victims at risk of suffocation, the FDA
The drug's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical
testing involving 225 patients. Symptom relief took an average of
two hours among people who took the drug, versus almost 20 hours
among those who took a placebo, the agency said.
Common side effects included injection site reactions, fever, an
increase in liver enzymes, dizziness and rash.
Two other drugs, Berinert and Kalbitor, were approved previously
to treat symptoms of HAE, the FDA said.
Firazyr is marketed by Shire Human Genetic Therapies, based in
Angiodema Association has more about this condition.