Available by prescription only, Berinert® (C1 esterase inhibitor) comes as a powder that is dissolved in sterile water and injected to treat sudden attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE). This medicine is used to help relieve the swelling that occurs to the face, abdomen (stomach area), or larynx (voice box or throat) during one of these attacks.
Clinical studies on Berinert have shown that people who received this drug had faster relief of swelling and painful HAE attacks than those who received a placebo (an injection with no active ingredient). In one study, Berinert started to relieve symptoms of facial or abdominal HAE attacks in a median of 48 minutes (the median is the middle number, meaning in half the people it took fewer than 48 minutes, and in the other half it took longer than 48 minutes), compared with over 4 hours for those using a placebo.
(To learn more about clinical studies on this drug, click Berinert. This resource contains a comprehensive overview of this medication, including dosing guidelines, details on how it works, safety precautions, and more.)