The recommended treatment plan for haemophilia depends on how severe the condition is.
There are two main approaches to treatment. Haemophilia is usually treated by a team at a specialist haemophilia hospital department.
Most cases of haemophilia are severe and require preventative treatment (prophylaxis). This involves regular injections of clotting factor medication.
When your child is young, you'll be trained to give them the injections. They'll be taught how to inject themselves when they're older to help avoid regular hospital appointments.
In some cases, injections may be given into a device called an implantable port, which can be surgically placed under the skin. This port is connected to a blood vessel near the heart, meaning you don't need to try to find a vein for every injection.
If you're having preventative treatment, you'll need regular follow-up appointments with your care team so your progress can be monitored.
Preventative treatment is usually continued until you're fully grown. After this point, it may be possible to change to on-demand treatment, but you may be advised to switch back to preventative treatment if you experience any episodes of significant bleeding.
Preventative treatment for haemophilia A involves regular injections of a medication called octocog alfa. This is an engineered version of clotting factor VIII (8), the clotting factor that people with haemophilia A don't have enough of. Injections every 48 hours are often recommended.
Side effects of octocog alfa are uncommon, but can include an itchy skin rash and redness and soreness at the site of the injection.
Preventative treatment for people with haemophilia B involves regular injections of a medication called nonacog alfa. This is an engineered version of clotting factor IX (9), which people with haemophilia B don't have enough of. Injections twice a week are often recommended.
Side effects of nonacog alfa are uncommon, but include headaches, altered taste, nausea, and discomfort and swelling at the injection site.
In mild or moderate cases, treatment for haemophilia may only be necessary as an immediate response to bleeding.
People with haemophilia A can be treated on-demand with injections of octocog alfa or a medication called desmopressin.
Desmopressin is a synthetic hormone. Hormones are powerful chemicals that can have a wide range of effects on the body. Desmopressin works by stimulating the production of clotting factor VIII (8) and is usually given by injection.
Possible side effects of desmopressin include headache, stomach pain and nausea.
On-demand treatment for haemophilia usually involves injections of a medication called nonacog alfa.