What is collagenase clostridium histolyticum, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Xiaflex is an injectable formulation of
purified collagenase derived from the bacterium, clostridium histolyticum. It is
used for treating Dupuytren’s contracture. A Dupuytren’s contraction is caused
by an abnormal accumulation of collagen (scar) in the tissue beneath the skin of
the palm of the hand. The collagen binds the tissue to the skin of the palm,
limiting the movement of the skin over the underlying tissues and preventing
extension of the fingers. Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen.
Xiaflex breaks down excessive collagen by disrupting its chemical structure.
Reducing the accumulation of collagen improves movement of the affected fingers.
The FDA approved Xiaflex in February 2010.

What brand names are available for collagenase clostridium histolyticum?


Is collagenase clostridium histolyticum available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for collagenase clostridium histolyticum?


What are the side effects of collagenase clostridium histolyticum?

The most common adverse reactions of Xiaflex are:

  • fluid retention (swelling of the injected hand),
  • contusion (bruising),
  • injection site bleeding,
  • injection site swelling,
  • pain in the treated hand, and
  • tenderness.

Tendon rupture or other serious injury to the injected hand may occur. Allergic reactions and development of antibodies to Xiaflex also may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2017

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