DOI: 10.2500/aap.2024.45.230080 ISSN: 1088-5412

An expert panel's review on patients with hereditary angioedema switching from attenuated androgens to oral prophylactic therapy

William R. Lumry, Jonathan A. Bernstein, Henry H. Li, Donald S. Levy, Douglas H. Jones, Brad E. Padilla, Josephine Li-Mcleod, Raffi Tachdjian
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy

Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare condition marked by swelling episodes in various body parts, including the extremities, upper airway, face, intestinal tract, and genitals. Long-term prophylaxis (LTP), prescribed to control recurring HAE attacks, is integral to its management. Previously, attenuated androgens (AAs) were the only oral LTP options. However, in 2020, berotralstat, an oral plasma kallikrein inhibitor, was approved in the United States. A 2018 survey of adults with HAE type I or type II showed that almost all the patients who used prophylactic HAE medication preferred oral treatment (98%) and felt that it fit their lifestyle better than injectable treatment (96%). Still, guidelines lack consensus on transitioning patients from AAs to alternative oral prophylactic therapy. Objective: This paper aims to share expert insights and patient feedback on transitioning from AAs to berotralstat, an alternative oral prophylactic therapy, from the perspective of clinicians with extensive experience in treating patients with HAE. Methods: A panel of five HAE specialists convened for a virtual half-day roundtable discussion in April 2023. Results: Discussions about transitioning from AAs to berotralstat were prompted by routine consultations, patient inquiries based on independent research, ineffective current treatment, or worsening AA-related adverse effects. For patients who switched from AAs, the physicians reported that the decision was influenced by the alternative therapy's ability to prevent HAE attacks, its safety, and the once-daily administration schedule. All expert panel members identified fewer AA-related adverse effects; better quality of life; and less severe, shorter, and less frequent HAE attacks as clinical or patient goals they hoped to achieve through the treatment switch. Conclusion: The emergence of new, highly specific LTP drugs for HAE calls for the development of comprehensive recommendations and guidelines for transitioning from AAs to alternative oral prophylactic therapy. The expert panel highlighted key factors to consider during the development of such guidelines.

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