Preventative vs On-Demand Treatment
The type of treatment or medication for you or your child depends on several variables including your bleeding pattern, general lifestyle, weight, and personal preference.
There are two main categories of treatment for hemophilia: preventive therapy or prophylaxis and on-demand treatment. The type of treatment you receive will be prescribed by doctors at the IHTC with input from you and your family.
Regardless of which type of treatment you or your child receive, it is very important that you follow that prescribed treatment in order to have the best outcome and avoid long-term complications related to bleeding.
Prophylaxis (preventive) therapy for people with severe hemophilia A or B is the recommended standard of care in the US and throughout the world.
Prophylaxis can involve either the regular infusion of clotting factor (for hemophilia A or B) or the regular subcuteaneous injection of a novel agent (an option for hemophilia A patients) to increase the amount of factor in your or your child’s body. This helps to prevent spontaneous bleeds.
The number of treatments per week or month is variable and is specific to you or your child. Prophylaxis requires a large amount of product over the course of a year. Due to the high cost of prophylaxis, health insurance coverage is vital if you or your child uses this treatment.
An IHTC social worker is available to answer your questions about insurance and help you and your family through changes in your insurance coverage.
On-demand therapy involves the use of clotting factor to treat bleeds after bleeding has started. In general, people with mild or moderate hemophilia, who tend to bleed less often, use this type of treatment.
Patients using on-demand therapy need to keep a few doses of factor at home in case of a bleed. Very few hospitals and local clinics have factor in stock to be used in emergencies.
Call the IHTC to schedule an appointment to determine treatment options for your specific needs.