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Augmentation Therapy

The specific therapy for the treatment of Alpha-1-related lung disease is augmentation therapy – also called replacement therapy. Augmentation therapy is the use of alpha-1 antitrypsin protein (AAT) from the blood plasma of healthy human donors to augment (increase) the alpha-1 levels circulating in the blood and lungs of Alphas diagnosed with emphysema. The therapy is administered by a weekly intravenous infusion and, until other therapies become available, is considered ongoing and lifelong.

While augmentation therapy is considered the only specific therapy for Alpha-1 lung disease, the treatment plan for lung-affected individuals with Alpha-1 should also include the appropriate use of antibiotics, an immunization program including viral hepatitis and influenza strains, reduction or elimination of environmental risk factors, appropriate inhaled medications, an exercise program, and oxygen, if needed.
Alpha-1 Foundation