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Fabry's Disease (cont.)

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What is the treatment for Fabry disease; is there a cure?

Fabry disease may be treated using enzyme replacement therapy with agalsidase-alpha (Replagal) or agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme) to help normalize kidney function, heart function, and blood supply to the brain.

Other treatments for Fabry disease are aimed at relieving individual symptoms.

  • phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), or gabapentin (Neurontin) may help prevent episodes of pain and burning sensations (acroparesthesias). Opioids may be prescribed for severe pain.
  • Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin-dipyridamole (Aggrenox) are prescribed to prevent recurrent ischemic strokes.
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) may be prescribed to prevent cardioembolic strokes.
  • In severe Fabry disease that has progressed to kidney failure, hemodialysis and kidney transplantation may be necessary.
  • Pancrelipase (Ultrase), metoclopramide (Reglan), H2 blockers, such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and others, and loperamide (Immodium) can help and soothe relieve gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • ACE inhibitors and/or blockers are prescribed for high levels of protein in the urine (proteinuria) due to kidney damage.
  • Hearing loss may be treated with hearing aids.
  • Patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) may be prescribed antihypertensive medications and they should keep blood pressure under control.
  • High cholesterol should also be treated.
  • In addition to medications, patients should eat a balanced diet, exercise, and avoid smoking.

What is the life expectancy for a person with Fabry disease?

The life expectancy of males with Fabry disease is about 58 years, and the life expectancy of females with Fabry disease is just over 75 years. The most common cause of death in both genders is cardiovascular disease.

Other names for Fabry disease

Fabry disease is referred to by many other names, for example:

  • Alpha-galactosidase A deficiency
  • Anderson-Fabry disease
  • Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum
  • Angiokeratoma diffuse
  • Ceramide trihexosidase deficiency
  • Fabry's disease
  • GLA deficiency
  • Hereditary dystopic lipidosis


Desnick, MD, PhD. et al. "Genetics of Fabry Disease Treatment & Management." Medscape. Updated FEb 24, 2016.

Fabry Support & Information Group (FSIG). "What is Fabry Disease."

National Organization for Rare Disorders. (2015). "Fabry Disease."

U.S. National Library of Medicine Genetics Home Reference. (2016, June 21). "Fabry disease." Updated Jun 28, 2016.

Waldek, S. P., et al. "Life expectancy and cause of death in males and females with Fabry disease: findings from the Fabry Registry." Genet Med. 2009 Nov;11(11):790-6. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181bb05bb

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2017


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