Many people with hemophilia use treatment products named clotting factor concentrates (“factor”). These treatment products improve blood clotting and can also stop or prevent a bleeding episode.
However, when a person develops an inhibitor, the body stops accepting the factor treatment product as a normal part of blood. The body begins to regard the factor as a foreign substance and tries to destroy it with an inhibitor. The inhibitor keeps the treatment from working.
Thus, it becomes more difficult to stop a bleeding episode. For a person who develops an inhibitor, special treatment will be required until their body stops making inhibitors. Inhibitors most often appear during the first 50 times a person is treated with clotting factor concentrates, but they can appear at any time.
Risk factors and Causes
All persons with hemophilia are at risk of developing an inhibitor.
By far, Scientists do not know exactly the causes of inhibitors. But multiple research studies have shown that people with certain types of hemophilia gene mutations are more likely to develop an inhibitor.
Besides this, some studies have also found other characteristics that possibly play a role in increasing the risk of inhibitor development among people with hemophilia. These include the following:
- Medication history (the frequency of taking clotting factor concentrates)
- Family history of inhibitors
- Increased frequency and dose of treatment
- Black race or Hispanic ethnicity