What happens in the body that causes HAE swells?

When C1-INH levels are too low or C1-INH is not working properly, fluid can leak from the blood vessels into the body and cause swelling.

Picture of a hand experiencing a swell. It shows a normal hand and version where the hand and fingers are swollen.

Signs and symptoms of an HAE swell

HAE attacks can occur anywhere on the body, and vary in length and severity. Therefore, it is important to treat HAE at the first sign of a swell.

Because all swells are not visible, it is important to learn to recognize the early signs that a swell may be coming. These differ from person to person and may include:

HAE attack symptom: fatigue


HAE attack symptom: rash


HAE attack symptom: stomach upset

Stomach upset

HAE attack symptom: headache


HAE attack symptom: stomach cramps

Difficulty swallowing and breathing

HAE attack symptom: numbness or tingling

Numbness or tingling

HAE attack symptom: muscle and joint pain

Muscle and joint pain

RUCONEST can be used at the first sign of a swell

  • RUCONEST, a C1-inhibitor, replaces the missing or nonworking C1-INH to stop an HAE swell before it fully develops
  • US HAEA Medical Advisory Board 2020 Guidelines state early treatment is important to prevent swell progression, no matter how severe. After self-administered treatment, you should seek medical care if the attack involves the airway.

What events can trigger an HAE swell?

Even though swells may occur without a clear trigger, it's important to recognize some common triggers that can lead to an attack, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Minor injuries
  • Surgical or dental procedures
  • Certain medications (e.g., estrogen-containing birth control medications)
  • Infections
  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy or menstruation

HAE advocacy

If you’re suffering from HAE, there is an organization working diligently to make sure you know you’re not alone

HAE advocacy groups

The US Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) is a nonprofit patient advocacy organization dedicated to serving people with angioedema. They provide patients and families with a support network and a wide range of services.

Preparing for Your Visit

Prepare for a visit with your healthcare provider with this helpful discussion guide.


RUCONEST is a plasma-free C1-INH proven to help treat HAE attacks.