How is thrombocytopenia treated?
In mild cases of thrombocytopenia, no treatment may be required. For moderate cases, treatment depends on the cause of thrombocytopenia. In cases related to medications or environmental contaminants, thrombocytopenia may resolve on its own once the underlying cause is removed. In other moderate cases, medication may be prescribed in order to increase platelet counts. In severe thrombocytopenia, procedures such as blood transfusion, platelet transfusion, or splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen) may be necessary.
Medications for low platelet counts
Low platelet counts may treated with medications designed to increase platelet production or decrease platelet breakdown including:
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to prevent platelet breakdown
- Immunoglobulins to boost platelet production
- Romiplostim (Nplate) or similar medications to increase platelet production
Treatments for severe thrombocytopenia
Severe or life-threatening thrombocytopenia that does not respond to medication may require additional types of treatment including:
- Blood transfusions to replenish blood lost through excessive bleeding
- Platelet transfusions to boost platelet counts
- Splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen) to prevent excessive platelet breakdown
What are the potential complications of thrombocytopenia?
Although mild thrombocytopenia may have no apparent symptoms and does not interfere with normal life, severe thrombocytopenia can have acute, life-threatening complications if not treated promptly. These complications are generally due to excessive bleeding. Long-term complications of untreated thrombocytopenia can be serious, even life threatening in some cases.
You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of thrombocytopenia include:
- Excessive or uncontrollable bleeding
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
- Severe nosebleeds
What is thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia is a disorder in which there are too few platelets in the blood. Platelets are small, disk-shaped cellular fragments in the bloodstream that help the blood to clot. Thus, thrombocytopenia is often characterized by excessive bleeding, including nosebleeds and easy bruising. Thrombocytopenia can be diag... Read more about thrombocytopenia introduction
What are the symptoms of thrombocytopenia?
Mild cases of thrombocytopenia may not produce any symptoms. The symptoms of moderate thrombocytopenia are related to problems in blood clotting, such as frequent or easy bruising or bleeding, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or a rash. In severe cases, unexplained bruising or bleeding may occur, including bleeding in the brain or in other internal organs.... Read more about thrombocytopenia symptoms
What causes thrombocytopenia?
Thrombocytopenia, or a low level of platelets in the blood, can arise from a variety of diseases, disorders or conditions that cause either low platelet production or excessive platelet breakdown. Platelet breakdown can occur in the bloodstream, liver or spleen.... Read more about thrombocytopenia causes