Arthritis

Updated 14 December 2015

Xiaflex Approved for Rare Hand Condition

Dupuytren's contracture limits finger use

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat a disabling hand condition called Dupuytren's contracture.

The condition, affecting connective issue in the hand's palm, can affect someone's ability to straighten and use their fingers.

The disorder is most common in white people and in men aged 50 and older, the agency said in a news release.

Xiaflex is a biologic product that's designed to break down the excessive collagen in the hand that characterizes the disorder.

The drug is injected directly into the hand. Because it may cause tendon rupture if improperly used, Xiaflex should only be delivered by an experienced health professional, the FDA warned.

The most common reported adverse reactions to the drug are fluid buildup, swelling, bleeding and injection site-pain. A serious allergic reaction also is possible, the agency said, although none had been observed during clinical testing.

Xiaflex is produced by Pennsylvania-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.

More information

To learn more about this approval, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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