How Pulmozyme Works
Cystic fibrosis (CF) often requires several different medicines as part of a treatment routine. Not all medicines work the same, so a combination of them may be needed to help you fight CF.
Watch the video below for more information about the different roles cystic fibrosis treatments play.
Pulmozyme is a commonly prescribed medicine that is unique in the way it works. Picture how a pair of scissors can be used to cut something into smaller pieces. Similarly, Pulmozyme cuts apart extracellular DNA by acting like an enzyme* naturally found in the lungs. By cutting this extracellular DNA, Pulmozyme helps make the thick, sticky mucus that your lungs produce thin and loose.
CF is a complex disease. Your doctor will prescribe other medicines to take in addition to Pulmozyme. These medicines can include:
Help prevent and treat infections
Help open airways
Help increase moisture in thick mucus
Help physically loosen and move mucus out of the airway
Help keep a balance of salt and water in the lungs
Your doctor may have given you several different medicines and each has a different purpose. You should always take Pulmozyme as prescribed to help thin and loosen mucus. On the next page, you’ll learn why it’s important to take your Pulmozyme as directed.
*Enzymes are proteins created by the body to help speed up chemical reactions (such as the breakdown of molecules).
†CFTR = Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Pulmozyme (dornase alfa) is indicated for daily administration along with standard therapies for the management of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to improve pulmonary function.
In CF patients with an FVC ≥ 40% of predicted, daily administration of Pulmozyme has also been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections requiring injectable antibiotics.
Pulmozyme should not be used in patients who are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Patients may experience the following when using Pulmozyme: change in or loss of their voice, discomfort in the throat, rash, chest pain, red watery eyes, runny nose, lowering of lung function, fever, indigestion, and shortness of breath. There have been no reports of severe allergic reactions caused by the administration of Pulmozyme. Mild to moderate hives and mild skin rash have been observed and have been short-lived.
The safety and effectiveness of Pulmozyme have been established in patients 5 years of age and older. While clinical trial data are limited in patients younger than 5 years of age, the use of Pulmozyme should be considered for pediatric CF patients who may experience potential benefit in lung function or who may be at risk of respiratory tract infection.
The safety of Pulmozyme given by daily inhalation for 2 weeks has been studied using 98 CF patients with 65 of them aged 3 months to <5 years (younger group) and 33 aged 5 years to <10 years (older group). The PARI BABY™ reusable nebulizer (which uses a face mask instead of a mouthpiece) was used in patients who were unable to show that they could breathe in or out using their mouth throughout the entire treatment period. Overall, the kind of side effects observed in children was similar to those seen in larger trials in older patients.
You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech and the FDA. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.
For further information, please see the full Pulmozyme Prescribing Information. If you have questions, please discuss them with your CF Care Team.