Nursing & Healthcare Directories on: The Nursefriendly
Prescription Drugs, Medications,
Alpha 1-Proteinase Inhibitor, Blood Products,
Aralast, Prolastin, Zemaira

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This page was prepared by E. Stankowski RN

Brand Name: Prolastin, Zemaira, Aralast
Generic Name: Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor
Drug Class: Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (Injection)


Zemaira , Mechanism of Action,"Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (A1-PI) deficiency is a chronic, hereditary disorder that can cause severe tissue damage and death. Pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema, are one of the main results of A1-PI deficiency. Emphysema is caused by the protease-antiprotease imbalance in the lungs which causes inflammation and tissue damage. A1-PI is the primary antiprotease in the lower respiratory tract, where it inhibits neutrophil elastase (NE), an enzyme that destroys pulmonary tissue. Those individuals without A1PI deficiency produce sufficient A1-PI to control the NE produced by activated neutrophils and are thus able to prevent inappropriate damage to lung tissue by NE. Zemaira acts to increase and maintain serum levels and lung epithelial lining fluid (ELF) levels of A1-PI. Low blood levels of A1-PI are also associated with liver disease and liver cirrhosis."
Thomson CenterWatch
22 Thomson Place, 47F1
Boston, MA 02210-1212
Phone: (617) 856-5900 or Fax: (617) 856-5901
E-mail: or


Prolastin, What is the most important information I should know about alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?"Symptoms of allergic or infusion reactions including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; hives; rash; itching; low blood pressure; and dizziness; have occurred upon injection of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor in a small number of patients. A slow rate of injection of the medication and pretreatment with other medications may decrease the severity of these symptoms, should they occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop any symptoms of an allergic reaction during or soon after an injection of alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor. Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may contain infectious agents (e.g., viruses) that can cause disease. Although alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is screened, tested, and treated to reduce the possibility that it carries an infectious agent, it can still potentially transmit disease. Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of using alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor."
Hampstead Trust
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: (570) 708-8780
E-mail: contact @


Prolastin, How Should You Use Prolastin (Injection),"(Injectable) The medicine is given through a tube that goes directly into a blood vein (intravenous, or IV).
•Before you use this medicine, you should be trained to use IV equipment and know how to mix the powder in sterile water. Otherwise, your medicine should be given by your home health caregiver.
•When it is time for your treatment, bring the medicine and sterile water to room temperature.
•Mix the medicine and sterile water as you have been taught.
•After you have mixed the medicine, use it within 3 hours. Do not refrigerate the medicine after it has been prepared for your treatment.
•Before you start your treatment, look at the liquid in the bag or bottle. If you see any specks or solid pieces in the bag or bottle, you should not use it. Prepare a new dose of the medicine.
•If a dose is missed: Try not to miss a dose. If possible, have other family members trained to give your treatment in case you are unable to give it yourself. If you do miss a dose, contact your doctor for instructions."
210 Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (1-800) 782-9200


Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor (Injection), How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine,"Store the medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the medicine or bottles of sterile water used to mix with the medicine. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children."
Cardinal Health, Inc.
7000 Cardinal Place
Dublin, Ohio 43017 US
Phone: (614) 757-5014 or Fax: (614) 757-6014


Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor, What is alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor?"Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is a naturally-occurring protein, also known as alpha 1-antitrypsin. Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is normally present in the body and is important for preventing the breakdown of tissues in the lungs. A congenital (hereditary) disorder known as alpha 1-proteinase deficiency may result in emphysema due to damaged tissue in the lungs.Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor is used in the treatment of congenital alpha 1-proteinase deficiency in patiens with symptoms of emphysema. Alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor may also be used for purposes other than those listed here."
Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA, 94089 US


Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor, Before Receiving This Medicine,"In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alpha1-proteinase inhibitor, the following should be considered:
Allergies: Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alpha1-proteinase inhibitor. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy: Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding: It is not known whether alpha1-proteinase inhibitor passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children: Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults: Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines: Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine."
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
200 1st St. S.W.
Rochester, MN 55905


Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor, Side Effects of This Medicine,"Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Frequency not determined: Cough; difficulty swallowing; dizziness; fast heartbeat; hives; itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; shortness of breath; skin rash; tightness in chest; unusual tiredness or weakness ; wheezing. Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. The following side effects usually do not require medical attention.

However, check with your doctor if any of these effects continue or are bothersome:
Rare: Fever up to 38.9 °C (102 °F); headache; lightheadedness; sleepiness or unusual drowsiness. Chills and fever may occur several hours after you receive this medicine but are usually mild and only temporary. Also, fever up to 38.9 °C (102 °F) may occur up to 12 hours after you receive this medicine and will disappear within about 24 hours.

Frequency not determined: Blurred vision; chills; confusion; dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly ; diarrhea; difficult or labored breathing; eye pain; fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse; general feeling of illness; joint pain; loss of appetite; muscle aches and pains ; nausea; runny nose; shivering; sore throat; sweating; trouble sleeping; vomiting. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor."
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894
Phone: (301) 496-6308 Fax: (301) 496-4450


Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor, What happens if I overdose?"Contact your doctor, a hospital emergency room, or a poison control center if an overdose is suspected. Although symptoms of an alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor overdose are not known, an overdose is unlikely to threaten life."
Healthwise, Incorporated
P.O. Box 1989
2601 N. Bogus Basin Road
Boise, Idaho 83701
Phone: (1-800) 706-9646


Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor, What is this drug for?,"Congenital Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Prolastin is indicated for chronic replacement therapy of individuals having congenital deficiency of alpha1-PI (alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency) with clinically demonstrable panacinar emphysema. Clinical and biochemical studies have demonstrated that with such therapy, it is possible to increase plasma levels of alpha1-PI and that levels of functionally active alpha1-PI, in the lung epithelial lining fluid are increased proportionately.18-20 As some individuals with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency will not go on to develop panacinar emphysema, only those with evidence of such disease should be considered for chronic replacement therapy with Prolastin.22 Subjects with the PiMZ or PiMS phenotypes of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency should not be considered for such treatment, as they appear to be at small risk for panacinar emphysema.22 Clinical data are not available as to the long-term effects derived from chronic replacement therapy of individuals with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency with Prolastin. Only adult subjects have received Prolastin to date."
RxList - The Internet Drug Index: Searchable drug database.
RxList LLC
16092 San Dieguito Road
Rancho Sante Fe, CA 92067
Phone: (707) 747-0985 or Fax: (708) 575-8638


Zemaira, What is it used for? "Zemaira® is used for chronic A1-PI augmentation therapy in adult Alpha-1 patients with emphysema. Zemaira® has been shown to be safe and effective, with half or less the infusion volume and time of other Alpha-1 therapies.1-3*"
ZLB Behring LLC
P.O. Box 61501
1020 First Avenue
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19406 USA
Phone: (1-610) 878-4000 or Fax: (1-610) 878-4009





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Last updated by Andrew Lopez, RN on Monday, November 22, 2010

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