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dornase alpha (Pulmozyme): Cystic Fibrosis Drug Side Effects & Dosage

What is dornase alpha, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Dornase alpha is an inhaled drug for
treating cystic fibrosis, a lung disease which is the most common fatal genetic
disease in developed countries. The lungs continually secrete fluid into the
airways to keep them moist. In cystic fibrosis, the fluid becomes thick because
the amount of water it contains is reduced. The thickened fluid is difficult to
cough up or spit out. It blocks the airways, making breathing difficult and
promoting the growth of bacteria and infection. Infection destroys the tissues
of the lungs, and it is the slowly progressive destruction of the lungs that is
the major cause of disability and death in children with cystic fibrosis. The
thick fluid contains high concentrations of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Dornase
alpha is a genetically engineered form of the human enzyme, deoxyribonuclease or
DNAse. Dornase alpha breaks down the DNA and thereby reduces the thickness of
the fluids. Dornase alpha was approved by the FDA in 1993.

What brand names are available for dornase alpha?

Pulmozyme

Is dornase alpha available as a generic drug?

No

Do I need a prescription for dornase alpha?

Yes

What are the side effects of dornase alpha?

The most common side effects of dornase alpha include:

What is the dosage for dornase alpha?

The recommended dose is one ampule (2.5 ml) inhaled once or
twice daily using a recommended nebulizer.

Which drugs or supplements interact with dornase alpha?

Drug interaction studies have not been conducted.
Dornase alpha is compatible with standard cystic fibrosis therapies including
oral, inhaled and/or parenteral antibiotics, bronchodilators, enzyme
supplements, vitamins, oral or inhaled corticosteroids, and analgesics.




QUESTION

About how much does an adult human brain weigh?
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Is dornase alpha safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

No damage has been noted to fetuses of pregnant animals
exposed to high doses of dornase alpha. However, there are no studies in women.
Therefore, physicians must weigh potential risks with the expected benefits of
therapy when deciding whether or not to use dornase alpha in
pregnancy.

It is not known whether dornase alpha is secreted in
human milk. At most, very little dornase alpha would be expected in human milk
after long-term aerosol use. However, because many drugs are secreted in human
milk, physicians must still use caution when they consider the use of dornase
alpha in nursing women.

What else should I know about dornase alpha?

What preparations of dornase alpha are available?

Single-use ampules; 2.5 ml (1 mg/ml)

How should I keep dornase alpha stored?

Dornase alpha must be kept in a refrigerator at 2 C to 8 C (36
F to 46 F) and protected from direct sunlight. The solution should be thrown
away if it is cloudy or discolored. Since the ampule does not contain a
preservative, the entire contents of the ampule must be used or thrown away
after it is opened.

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