Hemophilia is a medical condition which occurs when the body does not produce enough clotting factor in the blood. This means that the blood is unable to clot, which causes excessive bleeding, either inside or outside the body. There are two types of clotting factor that may be missing in hemophilia patients—either factor 8 or factor 9. When patients do not have enough clotting factor 8 in their blood, they have hemophilia A. When they do not have enough clotting factor 9 in their blood, they have hemophilia B.
Hemophilia occurs in roughly 1 out of every 5,000 live births. Hemophilia B, also known as Christmas Disease, is four times less common than hemophilia A. According to WebMD, more than half of people with hemophilia B have a severe case. It is a genetic disorder mostly passed down from parents to children, though it may occur as a result of a gene mutation. Click here to read more about hemophilia B.
Hemophilia B Treatments
The main type of treatment for both hemophilia A and B is called replacement therapy. There are two types of replacement therapy which work by restoring clotting factors to the blood: recombinant factor products, and plasma-derived factor products.
Recombinant factor products are developed in labs. Approximately 75 percent of people with hemophilia take recombinant products for hemophilia B. Recombinant products do not pose some of the risks that plasma-derived ones do. This is because plasma-derived factor products come from human blood donations, and these can sometimes contain viruses. However, this is rare due to blood screening processes. Plasma-derived factor products can still be used to treat hemophilia B.
There is sometimes a complication involved in replacement therapy. The body may develop antibodies which fight the clotting factors before they can work. This is more common in hemophilia A than in hemophilia B, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It occurs in 20 to 30 percent of hemophilia A patients, and in around 2 to 5 percent of hemophilia B patients.
Replacement therapy products are administered via an injection into the arm or sometimes via a port in the chest.
Hemophilia B Treatments With Medication
Some medications can be used to treat hemophilia B, such as antifibrinolytic medicines, which work by preventing the breakdown of blood clots. Click here to read more about hemophilia B treatments.
It is important to talk to a doctor before starting any hemophilia treatments, and make sure to tell them about any medications already being taken and any medical conditions that are already present.
Featured image: Depositphotos / AlexrathsPosted on May 5, 2023