Drotrecogin alfa (Xigris) - For when things get really bad

  • recombinant form of human activated protein C (APC)
    • APC is a serine protease (a type of protein-cleaving enzyme) that is capable of suppressing inflammation (by inhibiting a number of pro-inflammatory substances and events), blocking coagulation (by cleaving apart Factors Va and VIIIa to block thrombin formation), and restoring normal fibrinolysis (the physiological busting of clots)
    • recombinant protein drugs like drotrecogin alfa are produced by inserting the gene that encodes them into a bunch of fast-growing cells, growing the cells in a culture, and then harvesting all of the protein that the cells have produced
  • used to reduce the number of people that bite the dust after developing severe sepsis, which is essentially sepsis (a whole-body inflammatory response to a severe infection) with acute organ dysfunction due to widespread coagulation (dysfunction of the circulatory system)
  • since it inhibits blood coagulation, it is important to watch for bleeding problems
  • like most recombinant protein drugs, it is very, very, very expensive
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drotrecogin_alpha
- http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic533.htm
- http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/website/lectures/lecture/sepsis.htm

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