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Alpha-1 Lung Disease: Treatment

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This information was reviewed and approved by Robert A. Sandhaus, MD, PhD, FCCP (10/31/2017).

Treatment of Alpha-1 is important and includes:


People with Alpha-1 may live long, healthy lives without ever getting lung or liver problems from their Alpha-1.  For those who develop emphysema or COPD, treatment starts with the same medications and therapies used for those who get COPD without Alpha-1. The medications include:


In addition, specific therapy has been available for Alpha-1 lung disease since 1987, a class of medicine called augmentation therapy. This medication augments the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein in the blood with normal alpha-1 antitrypsin from healthy plasma donors and is infused into an arm vein. The dose is adjusted based on body weight, and this treatment is given once a week. This therapy does not help people with liver disease due to Alpha-1. There are currently four brands of augmentation therapy approved in the U.S. They include:

  • Prolastin®

  • AralastTM

  • Zemaira®

  • Glassia®


In addition to medications, Alpha-1 lung disease treatment includes:


Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, including people with Alpha-1 and their caregivers: A healthy lifestyle includes:

Remember, people with Alpha-1 can live al full life.

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