XIAFLEX® can help patients suffering from Peyronie's disease.
Known generically as collagenase clostridium histolyticum, XIAFLEX® is a combination of bacterial collagenases derived from the clostridium histolyticum bacteria and is primarily used in the treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture and Peyronie’s disease.
The medication works by breaking down an accumulation of collagen.
Conditions Treated with XIAFLEX®
A typically painless condition that develops slowly over time, Dupuytren’s contracture generally affects the middle, ring, and pinky finger of the hand. The first symptoms of the condition include thickening of the skin or a palpable cord developing in the palmer fascia layer of the hand. Eventually, the finger is left bent in a fixed position and cannot be straightened. Before XIAFLEX®, the general course of treatment included steroidal shots and surgery.
Peyronie’s disease effects 3%-9% of adult men worldwide and occurs when flat scar tissue, also called plaques, build up in the penis of adult males, resulting in distinct curving of the penis during erections. Peyronie’s disease differs from natural variations in the shape of penises, causing considerable pain in some cases. The condition can also lead to anxiety and stress in sufferers due to complications like shortening of the penis and erectile dysfunction.
Treatment and Administration of XIAFLEX®
XIAFLEX® was first approved for use in treating Dupuytren’s contracture in 2010 and subsequently approved by the FDA for Peyronie’s disease in December of 2013. In the case of Peyronie’s disease, use of XIAFLEX® has been shown to be beneficial to patients whose degree of penile curvature is at least 30 degrees. Patients are required to be registered in a special program and acknowledge the risks of taking XIAFLEX® before receiving treatment.
Before use of XIAFLEX®, it is important for patients to alert their physician if they have a known drug allergy to collagenase clostridium histolyticum, have a known blood clotting disorder like hemophilia, or take blood thinners for other conditions.
Patients who are undergoing treatment with XIAFLEX® for Peyronie’s disease may need up to four treatment cycles with two injections, one to three days apart. After each treatment, the penis may need to be wrapped in a bandage for a brief time with the duration decided by the physician.
One to three days after the injections, the physician usually performs a gentle stretching of the penis to assist in straightening the curvature. Patients may also be instructed to perform these gentle stretching techniques at home for up to six weeks. In cases where the first injections have caused pain or swelling in the penis, the physician will often recommend that the patient abstain from sexual activity following the second cycle of injections for a minimum period of two weeks to facilitate optimal healing.
Treatment with XIAFLEX® may lead to common side effects that include, but are not limited to, swelling, bruising, pain, and tenderness. Symptoms such as swollen glands beneath the arm, cracked skin, mild tenderness at injection site, and skin discoloration may also occur.
As with any medication, patients should seek immediate emergency help if they experience signs of severe allergic reaction, including shortness of breath, chest pain, hives, or loss of consciousness.