Making Challenging Medical Conditions A Little Easier

It’s the reality that every hemophiliac knows and lives with—administering expensive medications can be complicated and time-consuming. And when you’re a young child, simplicity and safety are of even greater importance.

For 6-year-old Brock, hemophilia is more than a chronic disease. With its need for regular dosages of intravenous medications, hemophilia is also a chronic annoyance. Earlier, Brock was on high-dose Immune Tolerance Therapy that required a two- or three-vial dose. Each vial reconstitution needed a set of more than 10 different steps just to prepare a dose. According to his mother, Katherine, it was getting to be too great of a burden.

Katherine says, “He’s battling a difficult disease. If I could find a way to put him more in control, it would be good for his self-esteem and easier for all of us. With his previous medication, we’d have to pop off tops, get a syringe packet, puncture the vials with a double-ended needle, transfer the water, carefully dispose of the needle in a sharps container, and then open a filter needle to draw up the solution, only to have to remove it to administer the product. It’s just a lot to deal with for anyone on a daily basis, especially a 6-year-old.”

“So we consulted our physician and were able to obtain free trials of three appropriate medications. We chose Helixate FS, and the determining factor was the much easier system for preparing and administering the doses.”

Helixate FS is an advanced recombinant FVIII (rFVIII) factor product for the treatment of hemophilia A. It offers a small diluent size of 2.5 ml compared to 10 ml for the leading rFVIII product. This means less volume, which translates to fast, easy infusions, and convenience. Further, Helixate FS uses a significantly easier drug-delivery system: the Mix2Vial system from West Pharmaceutical Services.

“I gave Brock two of the reconstitution systems from the trial products. He greatly preferred the Helixate/Mix2Vial system because it was just so much easier for him to figure out,” Katherine said. “It requires just four steps to reconstitute the drug, and it has a built-in filter.”

Katherine and Brock also appreciate the fact that there are no needles involved in reconstitution. “With hemophilia, the smallest needlestick can obviously become a major problem, so this system is much nicer. Brock can’t accidentally prick himself, and there are no needles needing careful disposal.

It’s a similar story for Jessica and her son, Jeremy in Varysburg, NY. Nearly 10 years ago, shortly after his birth, Jeremy was diagnosed with Type 3 von Willebrand disease (vWD), another type of bleeding disorder. For years, Jeremy endured multiple hospitalizations, surgeries, CAT scans, and other major disruptions while Jessica child-proofed and padded her home.

Return to Article: Easing Reconstitution

As a Type 1 vWD sufferer herself, Jessica takes Stimate, a nasal spray, if she has a major injury. For Jeremy, the situation called for a different therapy. His tiny veins made it difficult to receive treatments at home, and he had to take much of his medication at a hospital. Currently, Jeremy takes Humate-P(r), which is derived from human plasma and helps the body form clots and shorten instances of bleeding.

By the spring of 2003, persistent nosebleeds and treatment needs prompted doctors to give Jeremy a mediport—a central-access device under the skin that delivers medicine directly to the bloodstream. Combined with the Mix2Vial drug reconstitution system, the mediport enables Jessica to give Jeremy his intravenous Humate-P(r) treatments at home. Together, Jessica and Jeremy have found ways to prophylactically treat his condition, enabling him to become more independent, attend Cub Scout camp, and take up swimming.

 

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