Wainua (eplontersen) is a prescription injection used in adults with nerve problems due to hereditary amyloid transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis. It’s a brand-name drug not currently available as a generic.

Wainua is used to treat polyneuropathy (nerve problems throughout the body) in adults with hereditary amyloid transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis. This is a rare genetic (inherited) condition.

With amyloidosis, abnormal proteins build up in various organs and tissues in your body. The nerves throughout your body may be affected, resulting in symptoms of polyneuropathy.

In people with hATTR amyloidosis, the symptoms of polyneuropathy usually start in the feet and eventually spread to the legs, upper body, and hands. Symptoms may include:

  • pain
  • tingling and numbness
  • weakness
  • difficulty walking
  • limited range of motion

Wainua works to treat polyneuropathy due to hATTR amyloidosis by targeting the genetic material that your body uses to make proteins. This causes your body to slow or stop the buildup of abnormal proteins. This may help reduce your symptoms or prevent them from getting worse.

Like most drugs, Wainua may cause mild to serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Wainua may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other medications you take

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Wainua. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Wainua can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Wainua’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Wainua that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Wainua can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Wainua, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Wainua that have been reported include:

Allergic reaction

For some people, Wainua can cause an allergic reaction. But this side effect wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

In general, symptoms of allergic reaction can be mild or serious. You can learn more about possible symptoms in this article.

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms and can determine whether you should keep taking Wainua.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Wainua, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Wainua that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Form and strength

Wainua comes as a liquid solution in a single-dose auto-injector. It’s given as an injection under your skin. It’s available in one strength of 45 milligrams in 0.8 milliliters of solution (45 mg/0.8 mL).

Recommended dosage

The recommended dose of Wainua is 45 mg. You’ll inject this dose once per month (every 4 weeks).

How to use

Your doctor or another healthcare professional will show you or a caregiver how to inject Wainua at home. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. The drug manufacturer also provides step-by-step instructions and a video explaining how to inject Wainua.

You’ll inject your dose into your abdomen or upper thigh. Doses can also be injected into the back of your upper arm, but only if someone else (a caregiver or healthcare professional) gives you the injection.

Questions about using Wainua

Below are some common questions about using Wainua.

  • What if I miss a dose of Wainua? If you miss a dose of Wainua, inject the dose as soon as you remember. Then you’ll inject your next dose 4 weeks from the date of this most recent dose. If you have questions about adjusting your dosing schedule after a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Will I need to use Wainua long term? Wainua is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely use it long term.
  • How long does Wainua take to work? Wainua begins to work after you inject your first dose. But you may not feel the drug working in your body. Your doctor will order tests throughout your treatment to check whether Wainua is working to treat your condition.

Overdose

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

What to do in case you use too much Wainua

Call your doctor if you think you’ve used too much Wainua. 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 is important information you should consider before using Wainua.

Interactions

Taking a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Wainua is not known to interact with other medications, herbs, supplements, or foods. The manufacturer did not list any interactions in the drug’s prescribing information.

Before starting Wainua treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Wainua and alcohol

Alcohol is not known to interact with Wainua. But alcohol may worsen symptoms of hereditary amyloid transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis. (Wainua is used in people with this condition.) Because of this, your doctor may recommend that you avoid alcohol or limit the amount you drink.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol with your condition or treatment plan, talk with your doctor.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Wainua during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant or to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before starting Wainua treatment.

Wainua can lower the level of vitamin A in your body, so doctors usually recommend taking a vitamin A supplement during Wainua treatment. However, it’s not known whether it’s safe to do this while pregnant. Vitamin A is needed for fetal development, but too much vitamin A in your body can cause fetal harm.

If you use Wainua while pregnant, talk with your doctor about your vitamin A levels. (And to learn more about Wainua and vitamin A, see the “What are some frequently asked questions about Wainua?” section below.)

Note: Wainua is used in adults with hATTR amyloidosis. This is a rare condition caused by a certain gene mutation (atypical change). People with this gene mutation may pass it on to their biological children. If you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s important to talk with your doctor. They can explain the health risks and the chances of passing this condition to your child.

Warnings

Wainua can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Wainua is a good treatment option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before you use Wainua. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Wainua.

Should I take a vitamin A supplement during my Wainua treatment?

Yes. Doctors recommend taking the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A during treatment with Wainua. The RDA of vitamin A for adults is 700 micrograms (mcg) for females* and 900 mcg for males.*

Getting enough vitamin A during your Wainua treatment is important because the drug decreases the levels of vitamin A in your body. Without taking supplements, you can develop vitamin A deficiency. Symptoms may include dry eyes and night blindness (trouble seeing in low light).

But it’s also important not to take too much vitamin A, as this can lead to serious side effects such as vision changes or liver damage. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about vitamin A supplements or how much to take.

* In this article, we use the terms “female” and “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.

Does Wainua help with cardiomyopathy?

Possibly, but Wainua isn’t currently approved for cardiomyopathy (damaged heart muscle).

People with hereditary amyloid transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis commonly develop cardiomyopathy. (Wainua is used to treat polyneuropathy in people with HATTR amyloidosis.)

A clinical study is looking at the effectiveness of eplontersen (the active drug in Wainua) for cardiomyopathy in people with hATTR amyloidosis. Results from this study won’t be published until 2026. At this time, it’s not known whether the drug is effective for cardiomyopathy.

If you have questions about treatment options for cardiomyopathy, talk with your doctor.

Whether you have health insurance or not, the cost may be a factor when considering Wainua. What you’ll pay for Wainua may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use.

Here are a few factors to consider regarding cost:

  • Cost information and savings coupons: You can visit Optum Perks to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Wainua when using coupons from the site. See the coupon options below. (Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.)
  • Savings program: If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called AstraZeneca Access360 may be available.

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

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.8ml wainua (1 Pen)

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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.

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Other drugs can treat your condition. If you’d like to explore an alternative to Wainua, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that might work well for you.

The following drugs are similar to Wainua:

  • inotersen (Tegsedi)
  • patisiran (Onpattro)
  • vutrisiran (Amvuttra)

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.