Berinert (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]) is prescribed to treat immediate symptoms of hereditary angioedema. The drug is a powder that’s mixed into a liquid solution for intravenous injection. It’s usually given as a one-time dose.

Berinert is used in adults and children to treat immediate symptoms of hereditary angioedema (HAE). This condition causes episodes of severe swelling. Berinert treats sudden swelling of the face, throat, and abdominal area (belly).

The active ingredient in Berinert is C1 esterase inhibitor (human). (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) It is a biologic drug made from living cells.

This article describes the dosage of Berinert, as well as its strength and how it’s given. To learn more about Berinert, see this in-depth article.

This section describes the usual dosage of Berinert. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Berinert’s form?

Berinert is available as a powder. It’s made into a liquid solution that’s given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. This is an injection into your vein over a period of time.

What strength does Berinert come in?

Berinert comes in one strength of 500 international units (IU). The powder is mixed with 10 milliliters (mL) of sterile water to make a concentration of 50 IU per mL.

What are the usual dosages of Berinert in adults?

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for HAE

The typical Berinert dosage for adults with immediate symptoms of HAE is based on body weight in kilogram (kg). For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb). The dosage is 20 IU per kg of body weight. As an example, the dosage for a person weighing 70 kg (about 154 lb) is 1,400 IU.

Berinert is given as an IV infusion. Your doctor may give you Berinert. Or they may show you or a caregiver how to give doses of Berinert for treating immediate symptoms of HAE.

Berinert is not for regular use. It’s given only when you have immediate symptoms of HAE.

What’s the dosage of Berinert for children?

Berinert is used to help treat immediate symptoms of HAE in children of all ages.

The typical Berinert dosage for children is the same as the dosage for adults. To learn more, see the “What are the usual dosages of Berinert in adults?” section above.

For more information about Berinert’s dosage for children, talk with your child’s doctor.

Is Berinert used long term?

It’s possible, but it’s not used regularly. You and your doctor can discuss whether Berinert is safe and effective for treating your condition. If you agree that it is, your doctor may prescribe it long term to treat immediate symptoms of HAE when they occur. Berinert treats sudden swelling of the face, throat, and abdominal area (belly).

The dosage of Berinert your doctor prescribes will depend on your body weight.

Berinert is available as a powder. The powder is mixed with 10 mL of sterile water to make a liquid solution with a concentration of 50 IU per mL. The solution is injected into your vein by IV infusion at a rate of about 4 mL per minute.

You’ll receive infusions at your doctor’s office or a clinic.

In some cases, your doctor may teach you or a caregiver how to mix and give doses to treat HAE episodes. You can also talk with your pharmacist to learn how to give doses of Berinert. Or you can see the drugmaker’s prescribing information.

For the dosage your doctor prescribes, you may need more than one vial of Berinert.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Berinert, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not give more Berinert than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

What to do in case you use too much Berinert

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve used too much Berinert. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Berinert’s dosage.

Is Berinert’s dosage similar to the dosages of Ruconest?

The forms and how each drug is given are similar, but there are differences.

Berinert (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]) and Ruconest (recombinant C1 esterase inhibitor, recombinant*) both treat HAE in adults and children. (Berinert can be used in children of any age. But Ruconest is approved only for children ages 13 years and older.) Both drugs come as a powder for mixing with sterile water into a liquid solution for IV infusion.

Both Berinert and Ruconest are biologic drugs made from living cells.

The dose for both drugs is based on body weight, although the dose for each drug differs. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

* Recombinant means it’s made using genetic material.

How long does it take for Berinert to start working?

Studies of Berinert have recorded how long it takes Berinert to start working. They note that after a dose, the drug starts to work within about 15 minutes to reduce swelling of the throat. But it may take about 8 hours for Berinert to completely reduce swelling and relieve symptoms.

In the same studies, people used Berinert to treat sudden, severe swelling of the face or abdominal area. A majority of these people saw their symptoms reduced in less than 1 hour. But it may take up to 5 hours for complete symptom relief.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your Berinert treatment, talk with your doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosage provided by Berinert’s drugmaker. If your doctor recommends this drug, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • If I gain weight, do you need to change my dosage of Berinert?
  • Will my Berinert dosage prevent future HAE episodes?
  • How does Berinert’s dosage compare with the dosage of Takhzyro (lanadelumab-flyo)?

To learn more about Berinert, see this “Berinert (C1 esterase inhibitor [human])” article.

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.