von Willebrand’s Disorder – Treatment

The treatment for von Willebrand Disorder is called DDAVP. DDAVP is a synthetic hormone which is not made from blood products. Administration of DDAVP is by intravenous infusion over approximately 30 minutes. A test dose is always given at diagnosis to document a positive response. DDAVP is also available as a nasal spray, which is recommended for home use. Sometimes a person does not respond as expected to DDAVP. In this situation plasma derived factor containing factor VIII and von Willebrand factor must be used.

von Willebrand disease affects both men and women. However, because vWD can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and prolonged bleeding after childbirth, more women than men have noticeable symptoms. Common symptoms are frequent nosebleeds, easy bruising and, in women, heavy periods. Most people with vWD live completely normal, active lives. People with severe forms of vWD can experience symptoms like those in haemophilia such as bleeding into muscles and joints.

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