What Is Dornase Alfa Used For?

How Does Dornase Alfa Work?

Dornase alfa is a manufactured version of a naturally occurring human enzyme called deoxyribonuclease I. This enzyme breaks down deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), particularly DNA found outside of cells. Research has shown that the fluid in the airways of people with cystic fibrosis has too much DNA, usually caused by the breakdown of cells that are fighting lung infections. This DNA causes the lung secretions (known as sputum) to become more thick, causing breathing problems. This becomes a problematic cycle, with infections causing more DNA and more DNA causing more infections.
 
Dornase alfa works by breaking down this extra DNA, helping to thin the sputum. This, in turn, helps to improve lung function and decrease the risk of lung infections.
 

Is Dornase Alfa Used in Children?

Dornase alfa has not been thoroughly studied in children younger than five years old. However, it may be appropriate to use the drug in young children with cystic fibrosis, especially if they have frequent infections or poor lung function.
 

Is Dornase Alfa Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend dornase alfa for treating something other than cystic fibrosis. At this time, using the drug to treat a collapsed lung (known medically as atelectasis) caused by mucus plugging the airway is considered an off-label dornase alfa use.
 

Dornase Alfa -- Cystic Fibrosis Medication

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