Acute Porphyria Treatment

Treatment of the acute attack is the same for all the acute porphyrias.

  • Glucose
  • Heme given by vein

People who have attacks of acute intermittent porphyria are often hospitalized for Treatment of Acute Intermittent Porphyria of severe symptoms.

Individual with serious attacks are treated with heme given by vein. Blood and urine levels of delta-aminolevulinic acid and porphobilinogen are quickly lowered and symptoms subside, generally within various days. If treatment is delayed, improvement takes longer, and some nerve damage may be permanent.

Glucose given by mouth can also be useful, mostly in people whose attacks are brought on by a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet, but these measures are less successful than heme.
Pain can be controlled with drugs.

Vomiting, nausea, anxiety and restlessness are treated with a phenothiazine-type drug for a short time. Ondansetron may also be given for nausea.

Insomnia may be treated with chloral hydrate or low doses of a benzodiazepine but not a barbiturate. An overly full bladder may possibly treated by draining the urine with a catheter.

Doctors make sure that people do not take any of the drugs known to sudden an attack, and if possible address other factors that may have contributed to the attack. Acute Porphyria Treatment of seizures is problematic, because almost any anticonvulsant would worsen an attack. Levetiracetam appears to be safe to use. Beta-blockers may be used to treat rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.