There are effective treatments that help reduce the frequency and severity of swellings and relieve symptoms. Sadly, and similar to many other diseases, there is no cure for HAE.
The goals of HAE treatment are to achieve complete control of the disease and to normalize patients’ lives. Research is ongoing to develop more and more effective medications for HAE. With the effective modern medication available today for HAE, some people with HAE report that they can live life effectively free from swellings.
Current HAE treatment strategies focus on medications to [Maurer 2022]:
- Provide rapid relief during attacks (on-demand or acute treatment)
- Prevent symptoms in people with HAE who experience a high frequency of attacks (long-term prophylaxis)
- Prevent symptoms in people with HAE who undergo dental or surgical procedures, which may trigger an attack (preprocedural or short-term prophylaxis).
All people with HAE should work with their physician to develop an individualized HAE management plan which includes a treatment action plan.
While the symptoms can often be mistaken for an allergic reaction, HAE attacks do not respond to common allergy treatments, including antihistamines, corticosteroids, or epinephrine.
About medicine classes and names
Medicines with certain similarities can be grouped into drug classes. The similarities could be due to the chemical structure of the medicine, their mode of action, or that they are used to treat the same disease.
Every medicine has an approved generic name. This is the name of the active ingredient in that particular medicine. As several companies may make the same generic medicine, each company will give their product a brand or trade name.
An example of this is the painkiller, ibuprofen. The drug class that ibuprofen belongs to is called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The generic name is ibuprofen, and several companies make it with brand names such as Advil®, Neurofen®, Motrin®, Ibumetin®, Dolgit®.
We will refer to drug classes and generic names when discussing specific medicines for HAE.