Firazyr is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in adults.

HAE is a genetic condition that causes you to have severe and sudden episodes (known as attacks) of swelling. The attacks typically affect the face, feet, hands, genitals, digestive tract, and throat.* The swelling is different from that of an allergy attack. For details on Firazyr’s uses, see the “Firazyr uses” section below.

Firazyr contains the active drug ingredient icatibant acetate and belongs to a class of medications known as immunomodulators. (A medication class is a group of drugs that work in a similar way.)

Firazyr comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) in the belly area. A healthcare provider can give you the injections, but they can also train you or a caregiver to give the injections at home.

Firazyr is available in one strength: 30 milligrams (mg) / 3 milliliter (mL).

* Throat swelling can be life threatening. If you need to use Firazyr for this symptom, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

Effectiveness

Clinical trials have shown that Firazyr is effective for treating acute attacks of HAE.

One trial compared Firazyr against a placebo (an injection with no active drug). The researchers measured how well Firazyr reduced people’s visual analog score (VAS). This score assessed skin swelling, skin pain, and abdominal (belly) pain. A lower score means that the person experienced less pain and swelling.

The researchers found that it took about 2 hours for 50% of people who received Firazyr to report a 50% reduction in their VAS score. It took nearly 20 hours for 50% of people who received a placebo to report a 50% reduction in their VAS score.

Firazyr is available as a generic drug called icatibant. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Firazyr and icatibant are supplied in only one form and strength: a prefilled syringe that contains 30 mg of icatibant acetate.

Firazyr contains one active drug ingredient: icatibant acetate.

The following information describes the dosage that’s commonly used or recommended.

Drug forms and strengths

Firazyr comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) in the belly area. A healthcare provider can give you the injections, but they can also train you or a caregiver to give the injections at home.

Firazyr is available in one strength: 30 mg/3 mL.

Dosage for hereditary angioedema

Firazyr is used to treat acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in adults. “Acute” means “severe and sudden.”

The Firazyr dosage for acute HAE attacks is one 30-mg subcutaneous injection in the belly.

If needed, you can have another dose of Firazyr, but it needs to be at least 6 hours after your previous dose. And you shouldn’t have more than three doses of Firazyr within 24 hours.

What if I miss a dose?

Firazyr is a medication that you use only when you need it. It’s meant to be used when you have an acute attack of HAE. Unlike other drugs, you won’t take Firazyr at a regular time every day.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Firazyr is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Firazyr is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term as needed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Firazyr to treat certain conditions. Firazyr may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Firazyr for hereditary angioedema

Firazyr is approved for the treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in adults.

  • “Acute” is another way of saying “severe and sudden.”
  • “Hereditary” means you have the condition due to your genetics.
  • Angioedema” refers to swelling that occurs deep within your skin’s inner layers.

HAE is a rare genetic condition that affects your immune system (your body’s defense against infection).

With HAE, your body makes an immune system protein that doesn’t function properly or your body doesn’t make certain immune system proteins at all. This leads to an increase in the level of a protein called bradykinin in your system.

Bradykinin is a vasodilator, which means it dilates (opens up) your blood vessels. Having too much bradykinin can lead you to have symptoms like inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Acute HAE attacks explained

When you have HAE, the level of bradykinin can become so high that it leads to an acute attack of angioedema. The attack can affect the soft tissue (nerves, muscles, tendons, or fat) of different areas of the body. In most cases, the attack causes swelling and discomfort. But if an attack occurs in your throat,* in some cases, it can be life threatening.

HAE attacks are classified into three types:

  • cutaneous: occurs under the skin of the face, feet, hands, or genitals
  • abdominal: affects the lining of the digestive tract
  • laryngeal: affects the throat

The swelling of an HAE attack is different from that of an allergy attack because an HAE attack isn’t caused by an allergy. An HAE attack is due to a protein that isn’t functioning correctly, leading to a series of events that causes the inflammatory reaction. Also, it can be hard to predict how often an HAE attack will occur or how severe it may be.

* If you need to use Firazyr for throat swelling, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

What Firazyr does

Firazyr treats acute HAE attacks by preventing bradykinin from attaching to its receptor for a period of time. (A receptor is located on the outside of a cell and acts like a docking station.) This stops bradykinin from causing the typical symptoms of an HAE attack (mentioned above).

Effectiveness for treating acute attacks of hereditary angioedema

Clinical trials have shown that Firazyr is effective for treating acute attacks of HAE.

One trial compared Firazyr against a placebo (an injection with no active drug). The researchers measured how well Firazyr reduced people’s visual analog score (VAS). This score assessed skin swelling, skin pain, and abdominal (belly) pain. A lower score means that the person experienced less pain and swelling.

The researchers found that it took about 2 hours for 50% of people who received Firazyr to report a 50% reduction in their VAS score. It took nearly 20 hours for 50% of people who received a placebo to report a 50% reduction in their VAS score.

Off-label uses for Firazyr

In addition to the uses listed above, Firazyr may be used off-label for other purposes. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one or more use(s) is prescribed for a different one that’s not approved. Below is an example of an off-label use for Firazyr.

Firazyr for other types of angioedema

“Angioedema” refers to swelling that occurs deep within your skin’s inner layers. This type of swelling can be severe and, in some cases, life threatening if it affects your throat.*

Some people are allergic to a type of medication called an ACE inhibitor. (“ACE” is short for angiotensin converting enzyme.) Allergic reactions to ACE inhibitors can include angioedema.

Currently, there’s no approved treatment for this type of angioedema. A clinical study found that using Firazyr eased angioedema caused by an ACE inhibitor more quickly than using a glucocorticoid plus an antihistamine. But further research is needed before it’s known for sure how effective Firazyr is for angioedema caused by an ACE inhibitor.

If you’d like to know more about Firazyr in treating ACE inhibitor allergies, talk with your doctor.

* If you need to use Firazyr for throat swelling, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

Firazyr and children

It isn’t known if Firazyr is safe or effective to use in children because the drug wasn’t studied in this population. Firazyr is approved only for use in adults.

Firazyr can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Firazyr. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Firazyr, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Firazyr, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Firazyr can include:*

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Firazyr. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit Firazyr’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects

To date, no serious side effects from Firazyr have been reported. This may be because of how the drug works and because the drug is taken only when you have an acute (severe and sudden) attack of hereditary angioedema.

However, if you think you are having serious side effects from Firazyr, call your doctor right away. And call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

To date, there haven’t been allergic reactions reported after Firazyr use. But you should still be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Firazyr. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Injection site reactions

Injection site reactions are the most frequent side effect of Firazyr use. In clinical trials, 97% of people who took Firazyr had an injection site reaction. Only 33% of people who took a placebo (an injection with no active drug) reported an injection site reaction.

Injection site reactions occurred at about the same rate in people who gave themselves Firazyr injections as in people who received injections from a healthcare provider. No serious injection site reactions were reported.

Injection site reactions occur where the drug is injected (the belly). Commonly reported injection site reactions from Firazyr include the following:

  • bruising
  • burning
  • itching
  • hives (a type of raised rash)
  • numbness
  • pain
  • pressure
  • redness
  • swelling

One way to reduce your risk for having an injection site reaction is to rotate where you inject the medication each time you use it. For example, if you injected your previous dose on the left side of your belly, use the right side for your next dose.

If you experience an injection site reaction while taking Firazyr, talk with your doctor. They may recommend treatments for the reaction, such as an ice pack or a heat pack. Your doctor may also suggest medications to treat the reaction, depending on your symptoms.

Fever

Fever is possible with Firazyr use. In clinical trials, 4% of people who took Firazyr reported having a fever. No one who took a placebo reported fever as a side effect.

If you have a fever while taking Firazyr, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a medication like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help lower the fever.

Dizziness

Dizziness can occur with Firazyr use. This side effect was reported by 3% of people in clinical trials who took Firazyr. In comparison, 1% people who took a placebo reported dizziness. So although this side effect isn’t common, you may experience dizziness while taking Firazyr.

If you feel tired or dizzy after taking your Firazyr dose, it’s important that you avoid driving or using machinery until you begin to feel better. And if you haven’t taken the drug before, avoid these activities after taking your dose until you know how Firazyr will affect you.

And you should tell your doctor if you experience dizziness while taking Firazyr. They may recommend a different medication for treating your condition.

Higher liver enzyme levels

Liver enzyme levels that are higher than normal can occur with Firazyr use. In clinical trials, 4% of people who took Firazyr had raised levels of liver enzymes. No one who took a placebo in these trials reported this side effect.

Enzymes are proteins that speed up the rate of chemical reactions in the body. Firazyr can increase the levels of certain enzymes known as transaminases, which are made in the liver. Elevations in the levels of transaminases won’t cause any symptoms, but they can be a sign of liver problems.

To date, liver problems as a result of high levels of transaminases haven’t been reported with Firazyr use. This may be because the drug is only used as needed. But to make sure your liver is working properly, your doctor may order tests to check your levels of transaminases while you’re taking Firazyr.

Firazyr comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) in the belly area.

You should use Firazyr according to your healthcare provider’s instructions.

How to inject Firazyr

A healthcare provider can give you Firazyr injections, but they can also train you or a caregiver to give the injections at home.

The drug’s manufacturer also provides step-by-step instructions and a video on how to inject Firazyr.

Keep in mind that you’ll need special supplies, such as a sharps container, to self-inject Firazyr. (For more information, see the “Firazyr expiration, storage, and disposal” section below).

If you have additional questions about how to use Firazyr, talk with your doctor.

When to use

You’ll use Firazyr when you have an acute (severe and sudden) attack of hereditary angioedema.

If needed, you can have another injection of Firazyr, but it needs to be at least 6 hours after your previous injection. And you shouldn’t have more than three injections of Firazyr within 24 hours.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Firazyr, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Alternatives for hereditary angioedema

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat acute (severe and sudden) attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) include:

  • C1 esterase inhibitor, human (Berinert)
  • C1 esterase inhibitor, recombinant (Ruconest)
  • ecallantide (Kalbitor)
  • tranexamic acid

Examples of drugs that may be used to help prevent acute attacks of HAE include:

  • C1 esterase inhibitor, human (Cinryze, Haegarda)
  • lanadelumab-flyo (Takhzyro)

You may wonder how Firazyr compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Firazyr and Kalbitor are alike and different.

Ingredients

Firazyr contains the active drug icatibant. Kalbitor contains the active drug ecallantide.

The active drug is the ingredient that makes Firazyr or Kalbitor work.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Firazyr and Kalbitor to treat acute (severe and sudden) attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE).

For this purpose, Firazyr is approved for use only in adults. Kalbitor is approved for use in adults as well as children ages 12 years and older.

Drug forms and administration

Firazyr comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) in the belly area. A healthcare provider can give you the injections, but they can also train you or a caregiver to give the injections at home.

Kalbitor also comes as a liquid solution for subcutaneous injection. It’s supplied in a vial and needs to be drawn up in a syringe. Only a healthcare professional can give you injections of Kalbitor. You’re not able to self-inject Kalbitor at home.

You’ll use Firazyr or Kalbitor only when you have an acute attack of HAE.

Side effects and risks

These medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Firazyr, with Kalbitor, or with both Firazyr and Kalbitor (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Firazyr or Kalbitor.

  • Can occur with Firazyr:
    • no unique serious side effects
  • Can occur with Kalbitor:

* Kalbitor has a boxed warning for anaphylaxis. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA. Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Effectiveness

The only condition both Firazyr and Kalbitor are used to treat is acute attacks of HAE.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Firazyr and Kalbitor to be effective for treating acute attacks of HAE.

Costs

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Firazyr generally costs less than Kalbitor per dose. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Firazyr is a brand-name drug that’s also available as a generic drug called icatibant. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Kalbitor is a brand-name drug as well. There are currently no generic forms of Kalbitor.

Like Kalbitor (above), the drug Cinryze has uses similar to those of Firazyr. Here’s a comparison of how Firazyr and Cinryze are alike and different.

Ingredients

Firazyr contains the active drug icatibant. Cinryze contains the active drug C1 esterase inhibitor, human.

The active drug is the ingredient that makes Firazyr or Cinryze work.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Firazyr to treat acute (severe and sudden) attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in adults.

Cinryze is approved by the FDA to help prevent angioedema attacks in adults as well as children age 6 years and older with HAE.

Drug forms and administration

Firazyr comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled syringe. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection just beneath the skin) in the belly area. A healthcare provider can give you the injections, but they can also train you or a caregiver to give the injections at home.

You’ll use Firazyr only when you have an acute attack of HAE.

Cinryze comes as a powder in a vial. It’s mixed with sterile water and then given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. An infusion is an injection into a vein that’s given over a period of time. You’ll likely receive Cinryze from a healthcare provider at an infusion center. But you may be able to give yourself infusions at home after a healthcare provider trains you.

You’ll likely receive Cinryze every 3 to 4 days.

Side effects and risks

These medications can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Firazyr, with Cinryze, or with both Firazyr and Cinryze (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Firazyr:
  • Can occur with Cinryze:
    • vomiting
  • Can occur with both Firazyr and Cinryze:
    • injection site reactions, such as bruising or itching, where the drug is injected
    • dizziness
    • rash

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Firazyr or Cinryze.

Effectiveness

Firazyr and Cinryze have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used for acute attacks of HAE.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Firazyr and Cinryze to be effective for treating hereditary angioedema.

Costs

According to estimates on WellRx.com, costs of Firazyr and Cinryze will vary depending on your treatment plan. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Firazyr and Cinryze are both brand-name drugs.

Firazyr is also available as a generic drug called icatibant. There isn’t currently a generic of Cinryze available because Cinryze is what’s known as a biologic drug.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication that’s made from chemicals. A biosimilar drug, on the other hand, is a medication that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug. (Because biologic drugs are made from living cells, it’s not possible to copy these drugs exactly.)

When you get Firazyr from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the carton. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Firazyr syringes should stored at a temperature between 36°F to 77°F (2°C to 25°C) in the original carton. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms. Don’t put Firazyr syringes in the freezer.

Disposal

Right after you’ve used a syringe, needle, or autoinjector, dispose of it in an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident or harming themselves with the needle. You can buy a sharps container online, or ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health insurance company where to get one.

The manufacturer of Firazyr has a program called OnePath to help you dispose of used needles and syringes. This program offers you a free sharps container that you can use to mail back your used syringes and needles. This helps make sure they’re disposed of properly. You’ll also receive needle caps for covering needles in case you need to inject Firazyr and don’t have access to your sharps container.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

Firazyr can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

Firazyr and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Firazyr. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Firazyr.

Before taking Firazyr, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

ACE inhibitors

Taking Firazyr with a type of medication called an ACE inhibitor may cause the ACE inhibitor to work less well for you. (“ACE” is short for angiotensin converting enzyme.) ACE inhibitors are often used to treat high blood pressure.

Examples of ACE inhibitors can include:

  • benazepril (Lotensin)
  • captopril
  • lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
  • quinapril (Accupril)
  • ramipril (Altace)

If you’re taking an ACE inhibitor, be sure to tell your doctor before taking Firazyr. They may suggest a medication other than an ACE inhibitor to treat your condition. Most likely, they’ll have you monitor your blood pressure while using Firazyr.

Firazyr and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Firazyr. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Firazyr.

Firazyr and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Firazyr. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Firazyr, talk with your doctor.

Firazyr can be used alone or with other medications for hereditary angioedema (HAE). Firazyr helps treat acute (severe and sudden) attacks of HAE, but your doctor may prescribe another drug to help prevent HAE attacks.

Examples of drugs that may be used to help prevent acute attacks of HAE include:

  • C1 esterase inhibitor, human (Cinryze, Haegarda)
  • lanadelumab-flyo (Takhzyro)

If you have questions about medication to help prevent or treat HAE, talk with your doctor.

There isn’t any known interaction between Firazyr and alcohol.

However, alcohol can trigger acute (severe and sudden) attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) in some people. So if you know that alcohol is a trigger for your HAE attacks, you shouldn’t drink it.

If you have questions about drinking alcohol while using Firazyr, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Firazyr can vary. To find current prices for Firazyr in your area, check out WellRx.com. The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

It’s important to note that you’ll have to get Firazyr at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Firazyr, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Firazyr, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Firazyr, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the manufacturer of Firazyr, offers the OnePath Co-pay Assistance Program. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-888-0660 or visit the program website.

Generic version

Firazyr is available in a generic form called icatibant. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of icatibant compares with the cost of Firazyr, visit WellRx.com.

If your doctor has prescribed Firazyr and you’re interested in using icatibant instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.

Firazyr is used for treating acute (severe and sudden) attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE).

Angioedema” refers to swelling that occurs deep within your skin’s inner layers. This type of swelling can be severe. In some cases, if the swelling affects your throat, it can be life threatening. If you need to use Firazyr for throat swelling, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

What happens in hereditary angioedema

HAE is a rare genetic condition that affects your immune system (your body’s defense against infection). With HAE, your body makes an immune system protein that doesn’t function properly, or your body doesn’t make certain immune system proteins at all. This leads to an increase in the level of a protein called bradykinin in your system.

Bradykinin is a vasodilator, which means it dilates (opens up) your blood vessels. Having too much bradykinin can lead you to have symptoms like inflammation, swelling, and pain.

When you have HAE, the level of bradykinin can become so high that it leads to an acute attack of angioedema. The attack can affect the soft tissue (nerves, muscles, tendons, or fat) of different areas of the body. The areas include your digestive tract; your throat; and under the skin of your face, feet, hands, or genitals.

In most cases, the attack causes swelling and discomfort. But if an attack occurs in your throat, in some cases it can be life threatening. If you need to use Firazyr for throat swelling, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

What Firazyr does

Firazyr treats acute HAE attacks by preventing bradykinin from attaching to its receptor for a time. (A receptor is located on the outside of a cell and acts like a docking station.) This stops bradykinin from causing the typical symptoms of an HAE attack (mentioned above).

How long does it take to work?

Firazyr begins working as soon as it’s injected into your body.

In clinical studies, researchers found that it took about 2 hours for 50% of people who received Firazyr to report a 50% reduction in their visual analog score (VAS). This score assessed skin swelling, skin pain, and abdominal (belly) pain. A lower score means that the person experienced less pain and swelling.

It isn’t known if Firazyr is safe to take while pregnant. Studies of pregnant animals given the drug showed that Firazyr didn’t cause birth defects, but it did cause some cases of premature birth and miscarriage. It’s important to note that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in people.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before using Firazyr. They can recommend the right treatment plan for you.

It’s not known if Firazyr is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Firazyr.

For more information about taking Firazyr during pregnancy, see the “Firazyr and pregnancy” section above.

It isn’t known if it’s safe to use Firazyr while breastfeeding. Studies of animals showed that the drug passes into breast milk. But it isn’t known if Firazyr passes into human breast milk. And if the medication is present in human breast milk, it isn’t known how this would affect a breastfed child.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before using Firazyr. They can recommend the right treatment for you and healthy ways to feed your child.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Firazyr.

Can I use Firazyr to prevent an HAE attack?

No, you can’t use Firazyr to help prevent an attack of hereditary angioedema (HAE). The medication is used to treat acute HAE attacks. Firazyr isn’t effective in helping prevent HAE attacks. (“Acute” is another way of saying “severe and sudden.”)

For more information on medications used to help prevent HAE attacks, see the “Alternatives to Firazyr” section above. You can also talk with your doctor.

Will Firazyr cure my hereditary angioedema?

No. Firazyr won’t cure your HAE. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for HAE available. However, Firazyr may help treat your acute attacks of HAE.

There are also drugs that work to help prevent HAE attacks from occurring. These drugs include C1 esterase inhibitor, human (Cinryze, Haegarda) and lanadelumab-flyo (Takhzyro).

For more information on treatments used for HAE, talk with your doctor.

Should I use Firazyr if my throat starts to swell during an attack?

Yes, if your throat begins to swell during an acute HAE attack, you should use Firazyr. Throat swelling can be life threatening. If you need to use Firazyr for throat swelling, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

It’s vital to get help right way for throat attacks of HAE. This is because they can obstruct (block) your airway, making it hard or impossible for you to breathe.

In addition to affecting the throat, acute HAE attacks can cause swelling and discomfort in other parts of your body. HAE attacks are classified into three types:

  • cutaneous: occurring under the skin of the face, feet, hands, or genitals
  • abdominal: affecting the lining of the digestive tract
  • laryngeal: affecting the throat

If you have questions about using Firazyr to treat throat swelling or any type of acute HAE attack, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If my symptoms don’t go away after my first dose of Firazyr, is it safe to take another dose?

Yes, it’s safe to take another dose of Firazyr if your symptoms don’t go away after your first dose. However, you need to wait at least 6 hours before giving yourself the next dose. And you shouldn’t give yourself more than three doses of Firazyr within 24 hours.

If you have additional questions about how often you may safely use Firazyr, talk with your doctor.

How can I help avoid injection site reactions with Firazyr?

You can reduce your risk for having an injection site reaction by rotating where you inject Firazyr each time you use it. For example, if you injected your previous dose on the left side of your belly, use the right side for your next dose.

Injection site reactions can include bruising or itching where the drug is injected. For details, see “Injection site reactions” in the “Firazyr side effects” section above.

In clinical trials, 97% of people who took Firazyr had an injection site reaction. Only 33% of people who took a placebo (an injection with no active drug) reported this side effect.

If you have an injection site reaction while using Firazyr, talk with your doctor. They may recommend treatments for the reaction, such as an ice pack or a heat pack. Your doctor may also suggest medications to treat the reaction, depending on your symptoms.

This drug comes with several precautions. Before taking Firazyr, talk with your doctor about your health history. Firazyr may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Pregnancy. It isn’t known if it’s safe to use Firazyr while pregnant. For more information, please see the “Firazyr and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It isn’t known if it’s safe to use Firazyr while breastfeeding. For more information, please see the “Firazyr and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Firazyr, see the “Firazyr side effects” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Firazyr can lead to serious side effects. Do not use more Firazyr than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose are usually the same as the side effects of Firazyr, which can include:

In one clinical study, people were given a dose of Firazyr that was eight times higher than the dose used to treat acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE). (“Acute” is another way of saying “severe and sudden.”)

These people experienced itching, redness, and hypotension (low blood pressure) after taking the large Firazyr dose. But none of the people in the study needed medical treatment for these side effects.

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Firazyr is indicated for treating acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE). Firazyr is approved for use in adults.

Administration

Firazyr is administered by subcutaneous injection into the abdomen. Doses may be repeated in intervals separated by at least 6 hours. No more than three doses should be administered over a 24-hour period.

Firazyr may be administered by a healthcare professional. Patients may also be trained to give themselves Firazyr injections.

Mechanism of action

The active ingredient in Firazyr, icatibant, acts as a selective competitive antagonist of bradykinin B2 receptors. Bradykinin is thought to be responsible for causing the symptoms of an HAE attack. Inhibiting bradykinin from binding to B2 receptors helps relieve symptoms of an acute HAE attack.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Maximum concentrations are reached approximately 45 minutes following subcutaneous injection.

Icatibant is primarily metabolized to inactive metabolites by proteolytic enzymes. Icatibant is not known to be metabolized by nor have any impact on CYP enzymes.

No dose adjustments are necessary in patients with impaired hepatic or renal function.

Contraindications

There are no known contraindications to Firazyr.

Storage

Store Firazyr syringes between 36°F to 77°F (2°C to 25°C) in the original carton. Firazyr should not be frozen.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.