Icatibant as Acute Treatment for Hereditary Angioedema in Adults

Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Jun;9(6):779-88. doi: 10.1080/17512433.2016.1182425. Epub 2016 May 13.


Introduction: Hereditary angioedema with C1 inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is a rare disease, characterized by recurrent, unpredictable episodes of cutaneous and/or mucosal edema. Bradykinin, released by the activation of the contact system, binds to bradykinin B2 receptors on the endothelial cell surface to enhance vascular permeaility, which leads to angioedema.

Areas covered: C1-INH-HAE therapy is aimed at the inhibition of bradykinin release, as well as at the blockage of its effects mediated by its receptor. Three controlled trials, three open-label extensions, and two open-label studies, and a prospective, observational study have confirmed the safety and efficacy of the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist, icatibant administered as acute treatment for HAE attacks in adult patients with C1-INH-HAE. Expert commentary: The ready-to-use, pre-filled syringes of icatibant can be self-administered easily, effectively, safely and, importantly, conviently. - This has resulted in patients being able to quickly treat an attack and realize a dramatic change for the better in their lives.

Keywords: C1-inhibitor deficiency; Hereditary angioedema; acute treatment; bradykinin; bradykinin B2 receptor; icatibant; orphan drug; self-administration; subcutaneous pre-filled injection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angioedemas, Hereditary / drug therapy*
  • Angioedemas, Hereditary / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Bradykinin / administration & dosage
  • Bradykinin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Bradykinin / metabolism
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Bradykinin / therapeutic use
  • Bradykinin B2 Receptor Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Bradykinin B2 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Bradykinin B2 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Receptor, Bradykinin B2 / drug effects
  • Receptor, Bradykinin B2 / metabolism
  • Self Administration


  • Bradykinin B2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptor, Bradykinin B2
  • icatibant
  • Bradykinin