Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

While there's no cure for hemophilia, most people with the disease can lead fairly normal lives.

Treatment for bleeding episodes

Therapies to stop bleeding depend on the type of hemophilia:

  • Mild hemophilia A. Slow injection of the hormone desmopressin (DDAVP) into a vein can stimulate a release of more clotting factor to stop bleeding. Occasionally, DDAVP is given as a nasal medication.
  • Moderate to severe hemophilia A or hemophilia B. Bleeding may stop only after an infusion of recombinant clotting factor or clotting factor derived from donated human blood. Repeated infusions may be needed if internal bleeding is severe.
  • Hemophilia C. Clotting factor XI, the factor missing in this type of hemophilia, is available only in Europe. In the United States, plasma infusions are needed to stop bleeding episodes.

Ongoing treatment

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Regular infusions of DDAVP or clotting factor. The infusions can help prevent bleeding. This approach may reduce time spent in the hospital and limit side effects such as damage to joints. Your doctor can show you how to perform the infusions.
  • Clot-preserving medications (antifibrinolytics). These medications help prevent clots from breaking down.
  • Fibrin sealants. These medications can be applied directly to wound sites to promote clotting and healing. Fibrin sealants are especially useful in dental therapy.
  • Physical therapy. It can ease signs and symptoms if internal bleeding has damaged your joints. If internal bleeding has caused severe damage, you may need surgery.
  • First aid for minor cuts. Using pressure and a bandage will generally take care of the bleeding. For small areas of bleeding beneath the skin, use an ice pack. Ice pops can be used to slow down minor bleeding in the mouth.
  • Vaccinations. Although blood products are screened, it's still possible for people who rely on them to contract diseases. If you have hemophilia, consider receiving immunization against hepatitis A and B.
Sep. 11, 2014

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