Is there treatment for hereditary angioedema (HAE)?
There is no cure for HAE, but there are things you can do to help manage your condition. Your doctor can help you understand the 2 main treatment types, preventive and on-demand, and how they might play a role in your management plan.
Treatment should be individualized
When it comes to HAE, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. This is because the severity of HAE symptoms can vary from person to person. In some cases, people experience 2 or 3 swelling attacks per year, where others have more than 1 attack every week. People also have different preferences or life circumstances that could help influence a doctor’s decision on treatment.
That’s why it’s so important for you to work closely with your doctor to create a management plan that’s right for you and your specific situation.
Would you like help talking with a doctor about your management plan?
Also known as prophylactic therapy, preventive HAE treatment involves taking medicine routinely to help prevent or reduce the frequency and severity of HAE attacks.
If you're curious about discussing preventive treatment with your doctor, be prepared to answer questions like these:
- How frequent are your HAE attacks?
- How severe would you say your attacks are?
- Do you have any other health conditions? If so, what are they?
- What things have you tried for coping with or treating your HAE?
- How far do you live from a hospital or healthcare facility?
Because all factors can change over time, established treatment guidelines recommend that people with HAE be evaluated for long-term preventive treatment every time they visit a doctor, at least once a year.
Want to learn more about preventive treatment?
I think it's imperative for people to be responsible for what their body's telling them. You have to speak up and
work with your doctors.
Also known as acute treatment, on-demand HAE treatment is medicine used to treat the symptoms of an HAE attack. The established treatment guidelines support exploring both preventive and acute therapy as part of a treatment plan.
Because everyone with HAE is at risk for an attack affecting the airway—even if you’re treating with preventive medicine—it’s important that you talk with your doctor about on-demand treatment.
Wondering whether or not you should treat an attack? Even if it seems mild, it's best not to dismiss it. When in doubt, ask your doctor. Remember, an attack affecting the airway is potentially life-threatening and should be treated as soon as possible. Your doctor can also help you understand how treating attacks in other locations can help minimize the consequences.
The treatment guidelines also recommend that everyone with HAE should have enough on-demand treatment for 2 attacks and carry on-demand medication at all times.