Factor VIII (medication)

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Factor VIII
Fviii 2R7E.png
A depiction of factor VIII
Clinical data
Trade namesAafact, octocog alfa, others[1]
Routes of
ATC code
  • none

Factor VIII is a medication used to treat and prevent bleeding in people with hemophilia A and other causes of low factor VIII.[2][3] Certain preparations may also be used in those with von Willebrand's disease.[3] It is given by slow injection into a vein.[2]

Side effects include skin flushing, shortness of breath, fever, and red blood cell breakdown.[2][3] Allergic reactions including anaphylaxis may occur.[3] It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby.[4] A purified factor VIII concentrate is made from human blood plasma.[3] A recombinant version is also available.[2] People may develop antibodies to factor VIII such that this medication becomes less effective.[4]

Factor VIII was first identified in the 1940s and became available as a medication in the 1960s.[5][6] Recombinant factor VIII was first made in 1984 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1992.[7][8] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[9] The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$119.61–497.50 per 500 iu vial.[10]


This transfer of a plasma byproduct into the blood stream of a hemophiliac often led to the transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis before purification methods were improved. In the early 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began to produce recombinant synthesized factor products, which now prevent nearly all forms of disease transmission during replacement therapy.


  1. ^ "Coagulation Factor VIII, Human - Drugs.com". www.drugs.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d WHO Model Formulary 2008 (PDF). World Health Organization. 2009. pp. 259–260. ISBN 9789241547659. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 171. ISBN 9780857111562.
  4. ^ a b "Alphanate - Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) - (eMC)". www.medicines.org.uk. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  5. ^ Potts, D. M. Queen Victoria's Gene: Haemophilia and the Royal Family. The History Press. p. Chapter five. ISBN 9780752471969. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09.
  6. ^ Sibinga, Cees Smit; Das, P. C.; Overby, L. R. (2012). Biotechnology in blood transfusion: Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Symposium on Blood Transfusion, Groningen 1987, organized by the Red Cross Blood Bank Groningen-Drenthe. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 224. ISBN 9781461317616. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09.
  7. ^ Buckel, P. (2012). Recombinant Protein Drugs. Birkhäuser. p. 79. ISBN 9783034883467. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09.
  8. ^ Hillyer, Christopher D. Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine: Basic Principles & Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 353. ISBN 0443069816. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09.
  9. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Factor Viii". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2016.