Drugs Home > C1 Esterase Inhibitor

A healthcare provider may prescribe C1 esterase inhibitor to treat sudden hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks, which result in sudden swelling in various parts of the body. This medication is sold under the names Berinert and Cinryze. Cinryze is used to prevent HAE attacks, while Berinert is used to treat attacks once they begin. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, and headaches.


What Is C1 Esterase Inhibitor?

C1 esterase inhibitor (Berinert®, Cinryze®) is a protein found naturally in the body. It is also used as a medication in people with a rare genetic condition known as hereditary angioedema (HAE). HAE causes sudden attacks of swelling and pain in various parts of the body.
C1 esterase inhibitor medication is derived from human blood and is available as the brand-name medicines Berinert and Cinryze. Cinryze is approved for routine use to prevent HAE attacks, while Berinert is approved to treat attacks once they start to occur.  
(Click What Is C1 Esterase Inhibitor Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, C1 esterase inhibitor can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience side effects. Most people tolerate it quite well.
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Actual side effects of C1 esterase inhibitor may vary, depending on the particular product you use. Some of the more common side effects include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
(Click C1 Esterase Inhibitor Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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