Frequently
Asked Questions

It's normal and natural to have questions about your Alpha-1 diagnosis.

I’ve got Alpha-1. Now what?

Zemaira CareZ is here to help you answer your questions. You are also encouraged to call your AlphaNet Coordinator with any questions you may have.

About Alpha-1

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What is Alpha-1?

Alpha-1 is the common name for a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. If you have Alpha-1, your body is unable to produce a protein known as alpha-1 antitrypsin, or A1AT for short. This protein plays an important role in protecting your lungs from damage due to excessive inflammation. Without this protein present in your blood, your lungs may weaken over time and place you at a higher risk for developing serious diseases, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), even if you are not a smoker.1 An abnormal amount of A1AT in the liver can also cause liver disease.

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator, or visit Zemaira.com or Alpha-1foundation.org.

What causes Alpha-1?

Alpha-1 is not a disease. It is a hereditary condition, meaning that it is passed on from parents to their children through genes.1 Keep in mind, not all people who inherit the gene will develop symptoms.3

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator, or visit Zemaira.com or Alpha-1foundation.org.

Is Alpha-1 a common condition?

Alpha-1 is more common than many people realize but often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. It has been estimated that more than 100,000 Americans may have Alpha-19 but only about 10% have been correctly diagnosed.6

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator, or visit Zemaira.com or Alpha-1foundation.org.

About Zemaira therapy

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What is Zemaira?

Zemaira contains a natural Alpha-1 protein derived from human plasma. Zemaira raises alpha1 antitrypsin levels in the blood, replacing the protein you are missing.

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator, or visit Zemaira.com.

Zemaira is made from human plasma. Is it safe?

Zemaira is manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility under stringent, controlled conditions and undergoes virus removal and inactivation steps to minimize the risk of virus transmission. In fact, Zemaira has been in use for over 10 years with no confirmed case of virus transmission. While all efforts are made to prevent the transmission of infectious agents and viruses, the risk of transmission cannot be completely eliminated.

For more information, visit Zemaira.com.

Are there side effects with Zemaira?

Studies have shown that A1AT augmentation therapy is safe, with few side effects. In clinical studies of Zemaira, at least 5% of subjects reported adverse reactions related to treatment, including headache, sinusitis, upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, fatigue, increased cough, fever, injection-site bleeding, nasal symptoms, sore throat, and swelled blood vessels. Your doctor will advise you if Zemaira is right for you.

For more information, visit Zemaira.com.

How is Zemaira administered?

Zemaira is administered via intravenous infusion once per week. It typically takes about 15 minutes to infuse Zemaira.

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator or visit Zemaira.com.

Where will I receive my infusions?

Depending on your insurance coverage, your personal preference, and what you and your healthcare provider decide is best for you, you may receive your infusions in either:

  • Your home
  • An infusion center

For more information about Alpha-1, call 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-936-2472) to get connected to your AlphaNet Coordinator or visit Zemaira.com.

What to expect

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What can I expect after my doctor prescribes Zemaira?

It's natural to feel mixed emotions about your new diagnosis and the start of a weekly infusion therapy. Here is what you can expect:

  • Your doctor will get the process started by sending your prescription to Zemaira CareZ.
  • Your Zemaira CareZ Coordinator will contact you to help get you started on therapy. Whether it’s connecting you to a fellow Alpha for more information on Alpha-1, researching your benefits, providing insurance counseling, or connecting you to financial assistance programs, your Zemaira CareZ Coordinator will help connect you with any resources you might need to start your journey.
  • Your AlphaNet Coordinator, who is also an Alpha, may reach out to help answer any questions you may have about living with Alpha-1, starting therapy, and accessing services available to you. Your AlphaNet Coordinator has been where you are and can offer a unique perspective that you may find helpful.
  • A specialty pharmacy representative may call to coordinate the delivery of your Zemaira and accompanying supplies, schedule your infusions, provide treatment education, and connect you to financial support should you request it.

*AlphaNet Coordinators are neither healthcare professionals nor medical experts. Their assistance does not constitute professional guidance, therapy, or psychological counseling. Always contact your physician with medical questions. For their time and expenses, AlphaNet Coordinators are compensated by AlphaNet Inc., an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) health management organization.

What can I expect after taking this medication? How soon will I feel a difference?

Zemaira is intended to raise levels of the alpha-1 protein in your system. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alpha-1. Zemaira replaces the protein that you are missing, but it cannot restore the lung function that you may have already lost. Your doctor may conduct yearly or biannual lung function tests to measure how much air you can breathe in and out, how fast you can breathe air out, and how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood. These tests will help you and your doctor measure and assess the ongoing health of your lungs.

Do I have to take this medication for the rest of my life?

Since your body is unable to produce adequate levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin, augmentation (or replacement) therapy, such as Zemaira, is considered a lifelong therapy.

What if...

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What if I stop taking the medication or miss a treatment?

This should be discussed with your healthcare provider. If you plan to stop or miss a treatment due to financial or insurance concerns or any other potential concerns that we may be able to help address, please contact Zemaira CareZ at 1-866-ZEMAIRA (1-866-926-2472), as we will connect you to resources to help you stay on therapy.

What if I have to travel out of town? What should I do about my scheduled treatments?

Life doesn’t stop because you have Alpha-1. There will be times you need to travel out of town, whether for business or recreation. We recommend contacting your specialty pharmacy for assistance with coordinating needs for upcoming travel so you can continue therapy as prescribed.

What are some things I can do to help me live a healthy lifestyle with Alpha-1?

Some simple lifestyle steps can help give you some breathing room from Alpha-1.7

  1. Maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.*
  2. Be aware of your work and home environment and avoid exposure to dust and fumes.
  3. Stop smoking. Drink alcohol sparingly, if at all.
  4. Monitor over-the-counter remedies and avoid products containing acetaminophen or alcohol.

*Before engaging in any physical activity, always consult with a doctor to make sure the activity is right for you.

View more health tips at alpha-1foundation.org.

About diagnosis and family testing

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Why have so many people with Alpha-1 not been diagnosed?

Alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a relatively common but underrecognized condition. One study reports that on average, Alpha-1 patients go 7.8 years between initial symptoms and diagnosis. In addition, 43% of Alpha-1 patients reported seeing at least 3 physicians before being diagnosed.9

What about my family? Should they be tested?

Because alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is hereditary, meaning it is passed from parents to children through genes, encourage your family members to speak with their doctor about being tested immediately. The earlier Alpha-1 is identified, the sooner your family members can take the necessary steps to better manage their health.

To learn more about the importance of testing for Alpha-1, call your AlphaNet Coordinator or the Alpha-1 Genetic Counseling Center at 1-800-785-3177.

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Important Safety Information

Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor (Human), Zemaira® is indicated to raise the plasma level of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (A1-PI) in patients with A1-PI deficiency and related emphysema. The effect of this raised level on the frequency of pulmonary exacerbations and the progression of emphysema have not been established in clinical trials.

Zemaira may not be suitable for everyone; for example, people with known hypersensitivity to components used to make Zemaira, those with a history of anaphylaxis or severe systemic response to A1-PI products, and those with certain IgA deficiencies. If you think any of these may apply to you, ask your doctor.

Early signs of hypersensitivity reactions to Zemaira include hives, rash, tightness of the chest, unusual breathing difficulty, wheezing, and feeling faint. Immediately discontinue use and consult with physician if such symptoms occur.

In clinical studies, the following adverse reactions were reported in at least 5% of subjects receiving Zemaira: headache, sinusitis, upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, fatigue, increased cough, fever, injection-site bleeding, nasal symptoms, sore throat, and swelled blood vessels.

Because Zemaira is made from human blood, the risk of transmitting infectious agents, including viruses and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent, cannot be completely eliminated.

Please see full prescribing information for Zemaira.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

CSL Behring

Zemaira is manufactured and distributed by CSL Behring LLC.
Zemaira® and CareZ® are registered trademarks of CSL Behring LLC.

© 2017 CSL Behring. The product information presented on this site is intended for US residents only.
ZMR14-04-0006d(1) 5/2015