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  1. Anderson KE, Bloomer JR, Bonkovsky HL, et al. Recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of the acute porphyrias. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:439-450.
  2. Crimlisk HL. The little imitator-porphyria: a neuropsychiatric disorder. J NeurolNeurosurg Psychiatry. 1997;62:319-328.
  3. Thadani H, Deacon A, Peters T. Diagnosis and management of porphyria. BMJ. 2000;320(7250);1647-1651.
  4. Porphyria. Genetics Home Reference. Accessed May 12, 2010.
  5. Porphyria, Acute Intermittent. Accessed May 12, 2010.
  6. Elder GH, Hift, RJ. Treatment of acute porphyria. Hosp Med. 2001;62(7):422-5.
  7. Sassa S. Diagnosis and therapy of acute intermittent porphyria. Blood Rev. 1996;10 (1): 53-9.
  8. Herrick, AL; Moore, MR; McColl, KL; Cook, A; Goldberg, A. Controlled Trial of Haem Arginate in Acute Hepatic Porphyria. Lancet. 1989 Jun 10; 1 (8650):1295-7.
  9. Panhematin [Package Insert]. Lebanon, NJ: Recordati Rare Diseases; 2013.
  10. Watson CJ, PierachCA,Bossenmaier I, Cardinal R. Adv Intern Med. 1978;23:265-286.
  11. Pierach CA, Bossenmaier I, Cardinal R, Weimer M,Watson CJ. KlinWochenschr. 1980;58:829-832.
  12. Lamon JM, Frykholm BC, Hess RA, TschudyDP.Medicine (Baltimore). 1979;58:252-269.
  13. Lamon JM,et al. Clin Res. 1977;25(3):471A.
  14. McColl KEL, Moore MR,Thompson GG, Goldberg A. Q J Med. 1981;50:161-174.
  15. Porphyria, Acute Intermittent. Cigna website. Available at Accessed July 15, 2010.
  16. Albers, JW, Fink, JK. Porphyric Neuropathy. Muscle Nerve. 2004 Oct;30(4):410-22.
  17. Anderson, KE. Approaches to Treatments and Prevention of Human Porphyrias. In: Kadish, KM, Smith, KM, Guilard, R, eds. The Porphyrin Handbook. Volume 14/ Medical Aspects of Porphyrins. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 2003; 247-275.
  18. Palmer K. Abdominal Pain Due to Acute Intermittent Porphyria. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing 2006; 25(3): 103-109.
  19. Data on file: Recordati Rare Diseases Lebanon, NJ

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Quick Facts

  • In a recent survey of 257 Emergency Room doctors, 40% considered family history to be a “most useful” diagnostic indicator of AIP.19

  • You play a significant role in managing your AIP. Learn the steps you can take.

  • Having a calendar of your activities and diet can help your doctor diagnose AIP. Learn more.

  • Genetic testing can be used to identify family members who may be at risk of experiencing an AIP-associated attack.1

Helping to Manage AIP

If you are living with Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP), there are two key ways you can help manage your condition — recognizing triggers of an attack, and managing attacks when they do occur.

Recognizing triggers

Each person experiences AIP differently and each may have different triggers for attacks. However, these are some factors often identified with acute attacks.3

  • Various drugs (Talk to your doctor about which drugs may be problematic)
  • Infection
  • Fasting
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Substance abuse
  • Emotional and physical stress
  • Cyclic factors (specifically premenstrual status)

Some of these factors are best managed in collaboration with your doctor, such as the medications you take for an illness, as well as the medications you use to manage the signs and symptoms of your AIP.

Learn more about how you can take charge of your condition to manage the factors you can control, such as diet, smoking, stress, and other medications.

Managing attacks

Because attacks can be serious, even life-threatening, hospitalization may be required.3 Depending on the types of signs and symptoms you are experiencing, you may receive different types of treatment.

Options for treatment include:

  • After a trial with glucose, Panhematin (hemin for injection) may be recommended for administration early in attacks and is usually given over a period of four days in a hospital setting. Panhematin therapy for the acute porphyrias is not curative. After discontinuation of Panhematin treatment, symptoms generally return although in some cases remission is prolonged.9
  • Symptom management may include medications for pain, nausea and vomiting. Other medications may be needed to address other signs and symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, seizures, muscle weakness, and mental signs and symptoms.1,3

Your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment while you are having an attack.