Factor VII Deficiency Medication

Updated: Sep 12, 2020
  • Author: Lucas Barreira Angelim, MD; Chief Editor: Perumal Thiagarajan, MD  more...
  • Print

Medication Summary

Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of bleeding in persons with congenital factor VII deficiency, as well as in those with hemophilia A and B with acquired inhibitors. rFVIIa is produced in vitro in baby hamster kidney cells that are transfected with F7. [25]

Although originally developed for the treatment of inhibitor-complicated hemophilia A and B, novel indications for rFVIIa (based on case reports and smaller clinical trials) include use in patients with liver disease, thrombocytopenia, or qualitative platelet dysfunction and in patients with no coagulation disorders who are bleeding as a result of extensive surgery or major trauma. [7, 26, 12, 27, 28] Use of rFVIIa to control bleeding has increased among patients with intracranial bleeding, cardiac surgery, prostatectomy, trauma, and liver transplantation over the past few years. [29] The benefits of rFVIIa are uncertain, and no mortality reduction is seen. The various dosages used in the above-mentioned conditions vary and are outlined in the review by Logan et al. [30]


Antihemophilic agents, drug-product derivatives

Class Summary

The mechanism by which factor VIIa maintains normal hemostasis is unknown. Clot-promoting activity of rFVIIa is primarily mediated through the tissue factor pathway, although direct activation of primary hemostasis may also occur.

Tissue factor-dependent and tissue factor-independent enhancement of thrombin generation have been suggested to play a role. [31, 27] Factor VIIa alone, in the absence of tissue factor, can generate factor IXa and factor Xa on the surface of activated platelets, which, in turn, induces the coagulation cascade to form thrombin. [32]

Mechanism of action of rFVIIa in patients with Glanzmann thrombasthenia and Bernard-Soulier syndrome is thought to be from thrombin generation on the surface of platelets, resulting in faster platelet activation and aggregation. [7]

In a study that evaluated rFVIIa in patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage, the mortality was relatively reduced by 38% at 3 months when rFVIIa was administered within 4 hours of the hemorrhage. Accelerated thrombin generation from activated platelets at the sites of ruptured arterioles after administration of rFVIIa provides hemostatic effect and improved the outcome of these patients. [33]

By similar mechanisms, rFVIIa is also effective at controlling refractory bleeding in trauma patients. [34] Gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with cirrhosis has responded positively to rFVIIa.

Coagulation factor VIIa, recombinant (NovoSeven)

Supplied in 1.2- and 4.8-mg vials. Half-life of rFVIIa is 2-3 h. Cleared from plasma more rapidly in children than in adults.


Blood products

Class Summary

These agents are indicated for the correction of abnormal hemostatic parameters.

Fresh frozen plasma (FFP, Octaplas)

FFP is used to correct coagulation factor deficiency when hemostasis is urgently required. FFP is separated within 8 h of whole blood collection and frozen at -18°C. Each unit of FFP contains 200 U of each coagulation factor. Volume transfused should correct factor VII level to at least 30% of normal levels. Octaplas is a solvent detergent treated, pooled FFP.

Factor IX complex (Proplex, BeneFix, Hemodyne)

Contains factor VII 68-91 U/mL. Viral inactivation with dry heat (60°C [140°F] for 144 h). Prothrombin complex concentrates contain variable amounts of factors II, VII, IX, and X.


Antifibrinolytic agents

Class Summary

These agents increase circulating plasmin levels and decrease plasminogen levels.

Aminocaproic acid (Amicar)

Inhibits fibrinolysis via inhibition of plasminogen activator substances and, to a lesser degree, through antiplasmin activity. Main problem is that the thrombi that form during treatment are not lysed and effectiveness is uncertain.