Brand Name(s): Albutein, Plasbumin
Drug Class: Plasma expanders
Treats: Burns, shock caused by blood loss, low protein levels
Albumin is a naturally-occurring protein. Albumin belongs to a family of proteins known as globular proteins. Albumin, therefore, belongs to a class of drugs known as plasma expanders. Albumin is comprised of plasma proteins that functions by increasing the levels of serum albumin. It is used to treat burns, shock because of blood loss and a reduction in the level of the plasma proteins in cases where there is liver failure or after a surgery.
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The naturally-occurring albumin is produced in the liver and it easily binds to cations, water, fatty acids and hormones. Albumin's main role is to maintain the osmotic pressure of the blood. Albumin can sometimes be used to shuttle other molecules, which have low water solubility. Albumin, therefore, acts by expanding the amount of the circulating blood volume to an amount same as the blood volume induced. These properties make it possible for Albumin to treat the following conditions or diseases:
- Shock because of blood loss
- Decreased protein levels in the blood due to liver failure or after surgery.
Dosage of Albumin depends on the individual and the condition being treated. Albumin will most definitely be prescribed by your doctor after analysing your medical condition. It is, therefore, important that you do not miss out on a dose or alter your dose without consulting your prescribing doctor. There are a few factors that your prescribing doctor will have in mind when formulating your dose and they include
- Your medical condition
- Your response to the treatment regimen
- The seriousness of your medical condition
Albumin dose is set as follows
- For adults, the initial dose for the treatment of blood loss and hypoproteinemia is set at 250- 300 ml of albumin administered intravenously at the rate of 1-2 ml per minute.
- For children, the dose is set at an initial dose of 10-15 ml per pound of albumin administered intravenously.
Albumin Side Effects
Like most prescription drugs, the use of albumin may also result in undesirable side effects. These side effects may however not exhibit themselves in all patients using albumin within a given population and in the case that they do, they may vary in their severity. You should ask your prescribing doctor about any side effects you may face while using albumin so that you will be prepared to address the symptoms. Some of the common side effects may include the following. Note that not all possible side effects are listed.
These side effects may not require medical attention, however, if they persist or if you experience any of the below side effects, you should consult your doctor immediately.
- Problematic breathing
- Erratic cardiac rhythms
Drug interactions are important because they influence the activity of the target drug and its ability to deliver the desired effects. Drug interactions may exaggerate or slow down the activity of albumin and, therefore, influence your recovery rate or put you at a great risk of experiencing serious side effects. You need to inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking prior to initiating your first dose so that any lethal interactions may be ruled out. Some of the substances that may interact with Albumin include
Though these drug interactions are minimal, you should not rule out any substance you are taking, inform your doctor for a clear analysis of all the possible interactions.