Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency


What is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic condition caused by the lack of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT). Without this protein, alpha-1 patients can develop lung and/or liver disease.

Alpha-1 is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can be mistaken as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or even asthma.

It is estimated that about 100,000 people in the United States have alpha-1. This disease is present in all ethnic groups, but it is most common in those with Northern European ancestry. The prevalence of alpha-1 worldwide is thought to be about 1 in every 1,500 to 3,500 people of European ancestry.

Questions regarding your alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency therapy?

You can reach your Accredo alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency team, anytime, day or night, seven days a week by phone or online.

24-hour Customer Service Center

Aralast® NP, Glassia®, Zemaira®: 866-6-ALPHA1 or 866.625.7421

Prolastin Direct®: 833.PHONEA1 or 833-746-6321


What are the symptoms of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

Alpha-1 can cause symptoms in various parts of the body, but symptoms are most commonly seen in the lung, liver or, in rare cases, the skin. Unfortunately, alpha-1 often is not discovered until there has been significant tissue damage, or until a patient has been diagnosed with emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or treatment-resistant asthma. This is why testing is so important. Some of the most common signs of alpha-1 include, but are not limited to, the following list of symptoms.


  • Cough, often with mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Recurrent chest colds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing


  • Abdominal swelling and/or leg swelling
  • Intense itching
  • Jaundice (yellowing) of the eyes and skin
  • Pain or tenderness in the upper right abdomen
  • Blood in stool or vomiting blood


  • Raised, often painful, red lumps that can break open and leak fluid (panniculitis)

How is it diagnosed?

Alpha-1 can be detected by a simple test that determines the level of AAT in the blood.

Various medical societies have recommended guidelines on who should be tested for alpha-1. These include those with:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Liver disease with no known cause
  • Unexplained panniculitis
  • Family history of alpha-1



Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

The following specialty medications are available at Accredo, your specialty pharmacy, for the treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Financing Your Care

Financial assistance coordination may be available to help with your medication costs, including manufacturer and community programs. Accredo representatives are available to help find a program that may work for you.

Financial Guidance

Find Support

There are many organizations that support research and advocacy for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. See below for a few of those organizations.

Support Organizations

Government Organizations


Meet the Team

Your Accredo alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency team is dedicated to serving you and we understand the complexity of your condition. Our specialty-trained clinicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer any questions.

Why We Do It

Accredo supports patients with chronic and complex conditions and helps them live their best life. Watch our video to learn why we do what we do for our patients.

Why We Do It video transcript

24-hour Customer Service Center

Aralast® NP, Glassia®, Zemaira®: 866-6-ALPHA1 or 866.625.7421

Prolastin Direct®: 833.PHONEA1 or 833-746-6321

Man and woman smiling at laptop.

Prolastin Direct® Patient Support Services team:

833.PHONEA1 or 833-746-6321

This dedicated team will assist with referral coordination for Prolastin patients that receive their infusions at home or at a medical facility. The team will also assist with answering any questions relating to the Prolastin Direct program and help connect you with AlphaNet.

Alexander Cutia, Prolastin Direct Pharmacist

Accredo’s team of pharmacists are highly trained in the world of alpha-1. They review prescriptions for any drug interactions that could happen based on other medications a patient may be taking. They are also available for medication counseling and help coordinate care with prescribers.

Image of Patient Care Advocate.

Accredo’s team of patient care advocates stay in close contact with our patients on a regular basis. They help to ensure you have the medication and supplies needed to administer your therapy and manage your condition.

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The team of insurance and billing support representatives at Accredo are very knowledgeable about alpha-1 and the medication and supplies that are needed to manage the condition. They obtain approvals for your prescription from your insurance company (or payer) before shipping and help explain your insurance coverage.

Amy Cooney, Prolastin Program Manager

Accredo’s program managers work very closely with all internal Accredo teams to ensure a seamless onboarding experience. Our program managers monitor all patient referrals’ progress to ensure our patients receive their medication as quickly as possible and will mitigate any issues that arise throughout the process.

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Accredo’s nurse navigator team will be your initial point of contact for the Prolastin Direct program. They will review the program specifics and assist with coordinating your first shipment of Prolastin and supplies once the prior authorization is in place.

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A financial clinical nurse supports Accredo’s insurance and billing representatives and assists prescribers and patients with prior authorizations and appeals by applying their extensive clinical knowledge for alpha-1 and the payer medical and pharmacy criteria. This ensures prior authorizations and appeals that are submitted provide the information required by your insurance company (or payer).

image of lisa, rare disease nurse

If you receive your infusions at home, an Accredo registered nurse will come to you to administer your medication.

24-hour Customer Service Center

Prolastin Direct®: 833.PHONEA1 / 833-746-6321