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Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor (By injection)

Treats emphysema.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Brand names include
Aralast NP, Glassia, Prolastin-C, Zemaira
Drug classes About this
Blood Modifier Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Intravenous alpha‐1 antitrypsin augmentation therapy for treating patients with alpha‐1 antitrypsin deficiency and lung disease

Alpha‐1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which is a chronic lung condition that prevents the air supply from getting to the lungs). It affects about 1 in 1600 to 1 in 5000 people. Patients with lung disease suffer from shortness of breath, reduced ability to exercise and wheezing. People who smoke are more seriously affected and have a greater risk of dying from the disease.

Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor (a1PI) for preventing chronic lung disease in preterm infants

There is not enough evidence to show the long term effect of using Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor for chronic lung disease in premature babies. Inflammation of the lungs is one of the causes of chronic lung disease (CLD) in babies born before 37 weeks. Babies with CLD need extra oxygen and the disease can also cause serious long‐term problems. Lung damage is caused by the release of enzymes and other anti‐oxidants because babies with CLD have a low level of Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor (a1P1), a substance that stops lung tissue being destroyed. A medication version of AlP1 is sometimes given to protect their lungs. The review of the trials found that there is not enough evidence to show long term beneficial effects of a1P1. More research is needed.

Augmentation therapy for alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency: a meta-analysis

The authors concluded that augmentation therapy slowed lung function decline in patients with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, with patients with moderate obstruction (forced expiratory volume in one second of 30 to 65%) most likely to benefit. Much of the review was well-conducted, but reliance upon predominantly non-randomised studies of unknown quality made it difficult to confirm the reliability of these conclusions.

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Summaries for consumers

Intravenous alpha‐1 antitrypsin augmentation therapy for treating patients with alpha‐1 antitrypsin deficiency and lung disease

Alpha‐1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which is a chronic lung condition that prevents the air supply from getting to the lungs). It affects about 1 in 1600 to 1 in 5000 people. Patients with lung disease suffer from shortness of breath, reduced ability to exercise and wheezing. People who smoke are more seriously affected and have a greater risk of dying from the disease.

Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor (a1PI) for preventing chronic lung disease in preterm infants

There is not enough evidence to show the long term effect of using Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor for chronic lung disease in premature babies. Inflammation of the lungs is one of the causes of chronic lung disease (CLD) in babies born before 37 weeks. Babies with CLD need extra oxygen and the disease can also cause serious long‐term problems. Lung damage is caused by the release of enzymes and other anti‐oxidants because babies with CLD have a low level of Alpha‐1 proteinase inhibitor (a1P1), a substance that stops lung tissue being destroyed. A medication version of AlP1 is sometimes given to protect their lungs. The review of the trials found that there is not enough evidence to show long term beneficial effects of a1P1. More research is needed.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Overview

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is quite common, even more so than asthma. A typical symptom is a persistant cough. When the condition is advanced, it gets harder and harder to breathe. At that point even everyday activities such as climbing stairs, gardening, or taking a walk can leave you out of breath. COPD develops gradually over the course of many years.

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