Recombinant human deoxyribonuclease (rhDNase) is an enzyme that cleaves away specific sections of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). This drug is very significant in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis. Pulmonary disease is the leading cause of death among patients with cystic fibrosis and recombinant human DNase drugs significantly clear away mucus that obstruct airways.
Recombinant Human DNases Drugs
The main drug that falls under this class is:
- Dornase Alfa
Recombinant Human DNases Uses
Recombinant human DNases are drugs that work to loosen and clear away mucus obstruction of airways. These medicines can treat mild, moderate or severe respiratory and pulmonary diseases including asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchitis and cystic fibrosis.
In the case of cystic fibrosis patients, they assist in relieving obstruction of the peripheral airways as well as improve respiratory functioning and help to prevent respiratory infections. Patients with the disease experience chronic airway inflammation due to thick secretion. The thick secretion and the persistence of bacteria are what cause cystic fibrosis patients to experience respiratory distress and the progressive destruction of the lungs.
The recombinant human DNase affects the secretion specifically affecting the copious amounts of DNA contained inside. The DNA is sent to the airways in response to infection or inflammation which results in ever more significant thickening of the mucus. The recombinant human DNase reduces the mucus obstructing the airway by breaking down the DNA. Sputum, a mixture of coughed up saliva and mucus is also relieved in the airway when the recombinant human DNase converts it from a thick gel into an easy to pass liquid in minutes. The secretion in liquid form is thus less sticky and is easy to cough up.
The same effect of clearing the airways of thick mucus applies to other treatment uses including the aforementioned asthma and bronchitis. The loosening and clearing of the airways allows patients to breathe easier.
This drug is administered via inhalation.
Recombinant Human DNases Side Effects
It is important to note that most patients do not experience serious side effects from this drug. This medication is regarded as a safe and effective treatment method. Possible side effects include:
- Chest discomfort
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Eye irritation
- Eye redness
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Upset stomach
Rare side effects include:
- Skin Rash
- Skin Redness
- Voice alteration
Recombinant Human DNases Interactions
Specific medications from this drug group should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients. A recombinant human DNase drug called dornase alfa should not be taken by individuals allergic to products of Chinese hamster ovary cells. Recombinant human DNases may interact with rapid acting insulin inhalation drugs.
It is important to first speak with your medical professional regarding your personal circumstances if any of the following apply to you: you are pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant, you are taking prescription or nonprescription medication, you are taking herbal supplements or supplements for dieting. There are no known drug interactions for recombinant human DNases but all medications taken must be noted and addressed for safety precautions.