10 ITP Treatment Methods
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a blood disorder that can be defined as isolated low platelet count, thrombocytopenia, and normal bone marrow with the absence of other causes of thrombocytopenia. ITP leads to excessive bruising and bleeding, resulting from unusually low levels of platelets responsible for blood clotting. The disorder is also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura and affects both children and adults. Children often develop it after a viral infection and recover fully without treatment. In adults, the disorder is often chronic.
It will be a really horrible situation to experience sudden and uncontrolled gushing out of blood from the nose, gums and other openings of the body. And sadly, it could happen with a really low platelet count. Before that happens, better manage it immediately. This may usually be a costly endeavor but there are affordable options such as all-natural remedies you can learn from money back guaranteed materials like Conquer Low Platelets.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura depends on the symptoms, platelet count and the age of the patient. If the patient exhibits no signs of bleeding and the platelet count is not too low, then the treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is usually not necessary. The aim of treating ITP is to ensure a normal and safe platelet count to prevent bleeding complications at the same time, minimizing the side effects associated with the treatment.
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Common ITP Treatment Methods
Adults experiencing mild cases of ITP only require regular monitoring as well as platelet checks. In cases of severe and troublesome symptoms, with very low platelet count, treatment is advised. ITP treatment consists of medications and surgery of the spleen referred to as splenectomy. The other options of treatment include discontinuation of certain drugs that further inhibits platelet function. Examples of such drugs are ibuprofen, aspirin and the blood-thinning medication warfarin.
1. Removal of spleen (splenectomy)
Surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be an option for treatment of severe ITP. The procedure eliminates the main source of platelet destruction in the body thus, improving the platelet count. This procedure does not work for every ITP patient. Splenectomy for ITP is not as popular as it was. Serious post-surgical complications may sometimes occur due to the permanent lack of the spleen which increases susceptibility of the patient to infections.
This is the first line of treatment for ITP and prednisone is usually used. The therapy aims at helping raise the blood platelet count through decreasing the activity of the body’s immune system. Once the platelet count is back to a normal level, the patient can gradually stop taking the drug under the doctor’s directions. This general treatment takes a period of about two to six consecutive weeks. Adults with ITP experience a relapse after discontinuing the use of corticosteroids. This leads to the need for a new course of corticosteroids. Long-term use of the medications is not recommended due to the risk of serious side effects such as weight gain, increased risk of infections, cataracts, loss of calcium from bones and high blood sugar.
3. Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG).
This is a treatment method for critical bleeding or when there is need to quickly increase the blood count before surgery. Drugs including immune globulin are given intravenously. They are quick and effective; with their effectiveness wearing off in a couple of weeks. Side effects include headache, fever and nausea. In some people, Rho (D) immune globulin (WinRho) will be used as it may result in fewer side effects than IVIG.
4. Thrombopoietin receptor agonists.
These are the newest medications approved for the treatment of ITP. The ones used are romiplostim (Nplate) and eltrombopag (Promacta). The drugs help the bone marrow produce more platelets that help prevent bruising and over bleeding. Though, there are possible side effects such as headaches, muscle pain, joint pains, dizziness, nausea or increased risk of blood clots.
5. Biologic therapy.
Biologic therapy uses Rituximab (Rituxan) which helps reduce the immune system response. This is applicable for people with severe ITP. It is not helpful for the patients with corticosteroids. Its side effects include low blood pressure, sore throat and rash and also, fever may be experienced.
6. Emergency treatment.
Widespread or severe bleeding is dangerous, life-threatening and calls for emergency care. Emergency treatment for ITP includes transfusions of blood platelet concentrates intravenous immune globulin and intravenous methylprednisolone; which is a type of corticosteroid.
7. Immunosuppressant drugs.
These are drugs that suppress the body’s immune system. They control the activity of the body’s immune system against platelets thus, reducing platelet destruction. They include cyclophosphamide and azathioprine. The drugs have been used to treat ITP even though they have a number of significant side effects. Their effectiveness is also not yet proven. Immunosuppressant side effects include fever, nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure, headache, hair loss, as well as dizziness.
8. H. pylori treatment.
In some cases, individuals with ITP are also infected with the bacterium that causes most peptic ulcers – Helicobacter pylori. Elimination of the bacteria has helped increase platelet count in some patients, even though the results for the therapy are much inconsistent thus, the need to be exploited further.
9. Thrombopoietin receptor agonists.
They are pharmaceutical agents used to stimulate platelet production in the bone marrow. On this account, they differ from the previously discussed agents which mostly help by curtailing the platelet destruction. Available products under this class include Romiplostim and Eltrombopag.
10. Use of Rituximab.
The use of rituximab, which is a chimeric monoclonal antibody on the B cell antigen CD20, sometimes becomes an effective treatment alternative to surgery or splenectomy. This treatment has a number of side-effects that are significant and can occur.
Pregnant women suffering from ITP require special consideration for delivery to avoid complications on the baby and the mother. If the platelet count is more than 50 × 10 9/L (>50 × 10 3/µL), the perceived risk of serious haemorrhage is considered low. It is advised by doctors that oral prednisone is started a week before delivery as a reasonable precaution. In cases of the platelet count that is less than 50 × 10 9/L (50 × 10 3/µL) just before delivery; treatment by use of oral prednisone as well as IVIG is recommended. Doctors advise the avoidance of the use of IV RhIG in such pregnancy situations until safety data are available. Splenectomy is not a common method of treatment when dealing with pregnant cases, or neither is the treatment necessary to manage cases of acute haemorrhage.
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