Spot the difference


Some similarities between haemophilia A and B

● Bleeding symptoms are the same, despite being caused by shortages of two different clotting factors.

● Readily-available treatments, now made by recombinant technology exist for both types.

● They are inherited the same way: females can carry the gene and pass it onto the next generation, while haemophilia A and B is only fully seen in males.

Some differences between Haemophilia A and B

● Prophylaxis in haemophilia B (factor IX) requires less infusions than in haemophilia A (factor VIII).

● If you have haemophilia B you are less likely to get an inhibitor (see page 21).

● Allergic reactions to Factor IX sometimes happen when first using it, but this is very rare with Factor VIII.

● There is more choice of Factor VIII treatment products than Factor IX.

● People with mild or sometimes moderate haemophilia A can try an alternative treatment for bleeds known as desmopressin (see page 23). It does not work for haemophilia B.

● Before the mid-1980s in Scotland, nearly everyone treated with Factor VIII or IX was exposed to hepatitis C. HIV was less commonly transmitted in Factor VIII, and only rarely in Factor IX.

● Future developments in treatment, such as more longer-acting clotting factor products and gene therapy, may come at different times depending on whether they are for haemophilia A or B.