What Is Xiaflex? Xiaflex (collagenase Clostridium histolyticum) is a treatment option for Dupuytren’s contracture (tightening of tissue in the hand) and Peyronie’s disease (tissue scarring after an injury to the penis).Xiaflex is a biologic
Xiaflex (collagenase Clostridium histolyticum) is a treatment option for Dupuytren’s contracture (tightening of tissue in the hand) and Peyronie’s disease (tissue scarring after an injury to the penis).
Xiaflex is a biologic medication that has a group of two collagenases. Biologic medications are made from living things. In this case, these collagenases are proteins that come from Clostridium histolyticum bacteria.
Xiaflex works by breaking down collagen to relieve symptoms in Dupuytren’s contracture and Peyronie’s disease. Collagen is a connective tissue protein that's in tendons and muscles. Connective tissues provide support to many parts of your body, including bones and skin. In both Dupuytren’s contracture and Peyronie’s disease, a build-up of collagen takes place in the body.
Xiaflex is available as a prescription injection during an office visit with your healthcare provider.
Generic Name: Collagenase Clostridium histolyticum
Brand Name: Xiaflex
Drug Availability: Prescription
Therapeutic Classification: Collagenase (enzyme or protein that breaks down collagen)
Available Generically: No
Controlled Substance: N/A
Administration Route: Injection
Active Ingredient: Two collagenases from Clostridium histolyticum bacteria
Dosage Form: Powder mixed with a sterile liquid to turn into a solution
Xiaflex is used to treat Dupuytren's contracture (tightening of tissue in the hand) and Peyronie's disease (tissue buildup in the penis after injury).
In Dupuytren's contracture, there is a build-up of collagen underneath the skin of the palm of your hand. While this build-up isn't painful, it makes it difficult to straighten one or more of your fingers. The cause of this condition is unknown. Some possible risk factors, however, may include:
In Peyronie's disease, the build-up of collagen is inside the penis. This build-up results in a curved penis. The curved penis can make sex painful and difficult. Peyronie's disease is thought to be caused by an injury to your penis. Peyronie's disease can be due to small injuries to the penis over time from vigorous sexual or nonsexual activities. Peyronie's disease may also be more common in people over the age of 55 years.
Other risk factors for this condition may also include:
To receive Xiaflex, you'll need to see your healthcare provider. The following are additional details on what to expect during your office visits.
You can only receive Xiaflex during office visits with your healthcare provider. Therefore, you don't need to worry about how to store the medication or how to travel with it.
Currently, Xiaflex has no off-label uses.
How long Xiaflex takes to work will vary per person. Your healthcare provider will regularly follow up while you're receiving Xiaflex. If necessary, your healthcare provider will offer you more treatment sessions.
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
Common side effects with Xiaflex for Dupuytren's contracture include:
For the treatment of Peyronie's disease with Xiaflex, common penis-related side effects might include:
Severe side effects are possible with Xiaflex. Get medical help right away if you have the following serious side effects:
Many of Xiaflex's severe side effects are also its potential long-term side effects.
Xiaflex may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or call the FDA by phone (800-332-1088).
Your healthcare provider might slightly modify (change) your Xiaflex treatment under the following situations:
Pregnant parents: There are limited safety and effectiveness data about Xiaflex in pregnant parents. Animal studies suggest a low chance for negative effects on the unborn fetus, but use Xiaflex with caution during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider to weigh the benefits and risks of using Xiaflex while pregnant.
Nursing parents: It's unknown if Xiaflex is present in breastmilk. Since many medications tend to be present in breastmilk, use caution with Xiaflex while nursing. If you have any questions or concerns about using Xiaflex while nursing, reach out to your healthcare provider.
Xiaflex is a medication that's only injected during office visits. At some of your appointments, your healthcare provider may also help straighten your finger or perform a penile modeling procedure.
If you miss any of your appointments, reach out to your healthcare provider to reschedule as soon as possible.
In between some of your appointments, your healthcare provider will also probably recommend at-home finger exercises (Dupuytren's contracture) and penile modeling activities (Peyronie's disease).
Try to find ways to keep your appointments and routinely perform the recommended exercises and activities. You may delay treatment of your Dupuytren's contracture condition or Peyronie's disease if you miss too many appointments or forget to do your exercises or activities.
Xiaflex's prescribing information didn't include a lot of overdose-related details. If you received too much Xiaflex, however, you might experience more severe side effects at your injection site. You may also have a higher chance of serious side effects, such as tendon rupture or penile fracture.
If you suspect that you're experiencing life-threatening side effects, seek immediate medical attention.
If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Xiaflex, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).
If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Xiaflex, call 911 immediately.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
If you are receiving this medicine for Dupuytren's contracture:
If you are receiving this medicine for Peyronie's disease:
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have itching, rash, hives, chest pain, dizziness or lightheadedness, trouble breathing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving this medicine.
This medicine may cause bleeding or bruising at the injection site. Tell your doctor if you have blood clotting problems before receiving this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Before receiving Xiaflex injections, talk with your healthcare provider if the following applies to you:
If you've taken a blood thinner—like Coumadin (warfarin)—within the last seven days, avoid using Xiaflex. Combining a blood thinner with Xiaflex might raise the risk of the following side effects:
For more detailed information about medication interactions with Xiaflex, talk with your healthcare provider.
Both Xiaflex and Qwo contain collagenases that come from Clostridium histolyticum bacteria.
While both medications are very similar, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved each one for different uses. Xiaflex is approved for Dupuytren's contracture and Peyronie's disease. Qwo, on the other hand, is approved to treat cellulite (fat deposits under the skin) of the buttocks (butts) in adults assigned female at birth.
Currently, there are no other injectable collagenases available—especially for the treatment of Dupuytren's contracture and Peyronie's disease. While there's no worldwide agreement for the treatment of Dupuytren's contracture, collagenase is the standard in the United States (U.S.). Experts also provide a moderate recommendation for collagenase in the treatment of Peyronie's disease.
You can only receive Xiaflex as an injection during an office visit with your healthcare provider.
Xiaflex is a biologic medication. It also doesn't have any available biosimilars, which could be slightly more affordable options. As a result, Xiaflex is typically expensive. If cost is a concern, Xiaflex's manufacturer does offer a copay assistance program for people with commercial or no insurance. For eligibility questions, visit the Endo Pharmaceuticals website for Dupuytren's contracture or call 1-877-942-3539. You can also visit the website for Peyronie's disease or call 1-800-743-2382.
How fast Xiaflex works will vary per person. Try to keep up with your follow-up appointments. Your healthcare provider will assess whether multiple treatment sessions are necessary.
Consider the following general tips to stay healthy with Xiaflex:
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your doctor before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.