Xiaflex is a medication that can be prescribed as a treatment for people afflicted with Dupuytren’s contracture when their condition has already reached the point where a “cord” can be seen and felt in the palm of their hand.
Dupuytren’s disease results in a hand deformity wherein the cord pulls the fingers towards the center of the palm so they can’t be completely straightened out. This cord can be broken down by Xiaflex, which is a collagenase preparation extracted from Clostridium histolyticum. Xiaflex injections must be administered into the cord by a health professional who has sufficient experience in the treatment of patients with Dupuytren’s contracture and in procedures for injecting the hand. Below is more information on Xiaflex:
Important Considerations before Taking Xiaflex
Prior to getting the injections, you must tell your doctor about any allergic reaction to collagenase Clostridium histolyticum, which you may have had. You should also let your doctor know about any preexisting health conditions like blood clotting or bleeding disorders and any medications you’re currently taking. If you’re a woman, you must inform him if you’re expecting, planning to get pregnant within the course of the treatment, or breastfeeding your baby.
The vials and diluents of Xiaflex must be kept in the refrigerator at all times at temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, but care must be taken so that they do not freeze. After the diluent is mixed into the vial, the Xiaflex solution can be placed back in the refrigerator at the same temperature for a period of four hours or kept at a comfortable room temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius for an hour prior to injection.
As previously mentioned, Xiaflex is administered through a direct injection into the cord. Either the physician or an equally competent and experienced healthcare professional will give the patient this medication. In general, a patient requires one Xiaflex injection every four weeks. It is also possible that a patient may be given more than one injection at a given time. If someone other than your doctor does the injection, be sure that your physician’s instructions on the dose are followed to the letter.
After the Injection
Once the Xiaflex injection has been administered, you should be careful not to place pressure or touch the area of the hand that was treated for the remainder of the day. Up until you go to sleep, you should also keep the treated hand at an elevated position. Immediately report any signs of an allergic reaction such as severe pain, swelling, irritation, warmth, redness, itching, chills, and fever. You should also notify your physician if you have difficulty bending your treated finger towards your palm even after the swelling has gone away.
The day after you receive the injection, you need to go back to your physician as he will examine your hand closely to check for improvements. If the cord is still present, he might need to use additional measures. To further improve your condition, a splint to keep your fingers straight may be required. Some finger exercises may also be prescribed, and you will have to perform them daily. For great results, try your level best to heed your physician’s instructions.
From the time they were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European equivalent, Xiaflex injections have become a major part of the treatment plan for Dupuytren’s Disease. Some people argue that the success rates aren’t impressive and that the recurrence rates are still considerable. Still, Xiaflex injections have proven quite useful in helping people with Dupuytren’s contracture recover from the effects of the disease.