Treatment for Hemophilia

Treatment for hemophilia depends on the amount of factor VIII present, the size of the patient and the site of the injury or bleeding. Most treatments are aimed at replacing the clotting factor found in reduced amounts or is missing entirely. Treatments include:

  • For mild cases of hemophilia A, Desmopressin (DDAVP) is generally prescribed to release factor VIII stored in the blood vessels.
  • In moderate to severe cases of the condition, patients will require regular supplements of plasma concentrate of factor VIII.
  • In case of an emergency, patients with hemophilia and their families need to be trained in the procedure of giving factor VIII concentrates at the first sign of any bleeding.
  • In severe cases, DDAVP or factor VIII concentrates may be given to hemophilia patients before routine dental treatments or extractions or any type of surgery to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • Treatment of hemophilia also involves taking a hepatitis B vaccine since patients with hemophilia fall into the high-risk category for developing hepatitis due to the necessity for frequent blood transfusions.
  • In cases where the patient has developed a factor VIII inhibitor, treatment may include a prescription of other clotting factors such as factor VIIa to assist with the clotting process.
  • For children with hemophilia, there may be a need for constant and easy access to a portable intravenous port for the infusion of factor VIII supplements or concentrates. While this prevents the trauma of the constant need for intravenous cannulation, this can also increase the risk of infections at the catheter site.
  • Factor VIII or IX replacement therapy
  • Medications to control bleeding
  • Painkillers but not aspirin or NSAIDs as these can decrease the clotting ability of blood
  • Somatic gene cell therapy
  • Surgical procedures such as joint replacement surgery when internal bleeding has damaged the joint
  • Surgery to remove and expanding hematoma
Alternative treatments for hemophilia:
  • While there is no scientific proof available on the role of nutrition on the treatment of hemophilia, there is a consensus that certain foods such as vitamin E and fish oil supplements should be avoided if you suffer from hemophilia. This is due to the fact that vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids seem to prevent blood platelets from clumping together and can increase the bleeding time. Alternatively, taking vitamin K in supplement form or by increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamin K is believed to be useful in encouraging the normal clotting process. However, do not take any nutritional or vitamin supplements without first consulting with your doctor or health care provider.
  • There are several types of homeopathic treatments prescribed for reducing the symptoms of hemophilia. These include homeopathic remedies such as arnica, carbo vegetabilis, lachesis, crotalus horridus, millefolium, and phosphorus to reduce heavy bleeding, to stop internal and external bleeding and for poor clotting among other symptoms.
  • Most health care providers and doctors will recommend a daily exercise routine for people with hemophilia. Regular exercise can help prevent joint injuries and strengthen muscles. Exercises such as stretching or resistance training are preferred over playing any form of contact sport that could increase your risk of injury.