Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn Medication

Updated: Dec 28, 2017
  • Author: Sameer Wagle, MBBS, MD; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Class Summary

These agents normalize antibody levels in patients with primary defective antibody synthesis. They prevent and treat certain bacterial and viral infections and reduce the immune-mediated hemolysis and phagocytosis.

Intravenous immunoglobulin (Gamimune, Gammagard, Sandoglobulin, Gammar-P)

Several studies have reported success in minimizing the need for exchange transfusion in severe HDN with IVIG. Effective adjunct to phototherapy. Mechanism of action appears to be related to blockage of Fc receptors in the neonatal reticuloendothelial system. Studies have also documented decreased hemolysis after administration of IVIG using carboxyhemoglobin levels. Administration in doses of 500-1000 mg/kg in the first few hours of life to a newborn with severe hemolysis should be considered. However, efficacy depends on timing of administration, duration of treatment, and severity of hemolysis. Should be prepared by and dispensed from pharmacy and should not be mixed with normal saline. Dispensed as either 3% or 6% solution.


Colony-stimulating Factor

Class Summary

These agents may be required to correct anemia.

Epoetin alfa, recombinant (Epogen, Procrit)

Purified glycoprotein produced from mammalian cells modified with gene coding for human erythropoietin (EPO). Amino acid sequence is identical to that of endogenous EPO. Biological activity mimics human urinary EPO, which stimulates division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells and induces release of reticulocytes from bone marrow into the blood stream.


Competitive heme oxygenase inhibitor

Class Summary

Phase III clinical trials have been completed in the United States on stannsoporfin, a competitive heme oxygenase inhibitor. The drug is currently available via a compassionate use protocol.

Stannsoporfin (SnMP, Stanate)

Also known as tin-mesoporphyrin. Investigational in the United States. Phase III clinical trials completed. Structural analog of heme that blocks heme oxygenase (HO-1), a rate-limiting enzyme in bilirubin production, thereby preventing the conversion of heme to bilirubin. Heme is excreted unchanged in bile and is not stored in tissue. It is inert and does not enter the brain or interact with DNA. It does not affect previously formed bilirubin conjugation or excretion in liver. Several randomized, controlled and, when possible, blinded studies over the last decade that involved >700 neonates with all principle forms of neonatal jaundice have shown SnMP to be effective in preventing and blocking jaundice progression. Phototherapy was eliminated in 97% of treated infants.

Also inhibits nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylyl cyclase. Repeated doses lead to inhibition of intestinal heme oxygenase involved in iron absorption and may lead to anemia. It also stimulates HO-1 transcription and protein levels. The half-life as measured in healthy adult volunteers is 3.8 h.

Available under the rules of a compassionate use protocol by WellSpring Pharmaceutical and InfaCare Pharmaceutical Corporations. For details, contact Dr Benjamin Levinson (732) 938-5885 ext 224, or by email at blevin@wellsringpharm.com.