10 Drugs Used In Cases of Low Platelets

Drugs & Supplements Commonly Used For Low Platelets
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Platelets are small, colorless disc-shaped blood component that originates from the fragmentation of megakaryocytes. A normal platelet count is between 150,000 to 450,000 per 1 mcL of blood.

To clearly understand what does low platelets mean, it simply signify an amount less than 150,000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood.

A patient with levels of blood platelets low in number has a medical condition called thrombocytopenia. This can vary in severity but will really be a horrible situation if you 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.

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Drugs and supplements common in the treatment of thrombocytopenia (low platelets):

Several thrombocytopenia treatment options are available but what we have below are drugs and supplements usually observed in the management of the medical condition.

1. Nplate (romiplostim)

It is a synthetic protein drug commonly observed in the treatment of low platelet count in chronic immune thrombocytopenia. This is used specifically to prevent bleeding and bruising. It works by increasing the number of platelets produced in the bone marrow.

Nplate is not utilized in the treatment of just about any incidence of thrombocytopenia other than chronic immune thrombocytopenia. In particular, it must not be used for myelodysplastic syndromes.

The side effects of the medication include nausea, loss of appetite, sore throat, muscle pains, swelling of the joints, and hair loss. The potential for a more difficult set of side effects exist which includes pain in the chest, coughing up blood, rapid heart beat, and shortness of breath. A very rare adverse reaction like yellow teeth discolouration (tooth staining) may also happen.

During the course of treatment with use of the medication, constant monitoring and careful control of platelet count changes should be performed. A sudden increase can lead to undesirable formation of thrombus.

2. Promacta (eltrombopag)

Promacta (eltrombopag) is also used to increase platelet counts in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) for the control of bruising and bleeding.

Eltrombopag can also be observed to be prescribed in individuals with hepatitis C virus infection to counteract the platelet lowering effects, but being able to carry out therapy, with interferon and ribavirin. However, this combination has a potential to cause serious damage to the liver. If the patient encounters any of the symptoms (like yellowish coloring of the skin along with stomach pain, fatigue, confusion), it’s important to consult a physician immediately.

The drug should not be used for the sole purpose of increasing platelet counts but mainly for the underlying specific medical disorder. It’s very likely to cause increased amount without returning to normal levels.

Misuse can give rise to thrombus and cataracts. Side effects may include uncomfortable symptoms of dizziness, trouble with vision, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, etc.

3. Kiovig

Kiovig is a plasma-derived product containing the active ingredient human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG). It is commonly observed in the treatment of primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).

The drug is also observed in the treatment of Guillain-Barre syndrome, Kawasaki disease, multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), primary immunodeficiency syndromes, etc.

The side effects of Kiovig include headache, pain in the limbs, cough, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever.

4. Corticosteroids

These are first line drug of choice that can be observed in the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. It reduces the rate of platelet destruction but has an immunosuppressor capability.

Most often, corticosteroids are continually used until platelet levels returns to normal (usually 2-6 weeks).

Discontinuation of use may result to a possible recurrence of having low platelets; and caution is emphasized on the other hand with long-term use of corticosteroids due to potential adverse effects. Side effects may include the development of cataracts, osteoporosis, increased risk of infection, and increase in blood sugar.

If the drug is already being taken for more than 3 months, it is commonly recommended for the patient to take supplements of calcium and vitamin D.

5. Intravenous immune globulin

Being administered intravenously, it usually given in situations where the necessity to increase the number of platelets must be achieved within the shortest time possible.

Intravenous immune globulin helps stop excessive bleeding immediately and common in cases where urgent need to increase the number of platelets is a priority like during surgical interventions.

6. Danazol

The synthetic steroid derivative is used to treat immune thrombocytopenic purpura. It is also observed in the treatment of menorrhagia, pain in the chest, and premenstrual syndrome.

Side effects of Danazol includes the potential of developing tumors in the liver and increased risk of ovarian tumors.

7. Rituximab (Rituxan, MabThera)

A chimeric monoclonal antibody targeting the protein CD20 that is located primarily on the surface of B lymphocytes. Rituximab leads to the depletion of B lymphocytes and commonly observed in the treatment of autoimmune diseases (such as immune thrombocytopenic purpura and rheumatoid arthritis), lymphoma, and leukemia.

The drug is also common during transplantation procedures to reduce transplant rejection.

8. Lithium carbonate

Lithium carbonate can also be used to increase the amount of platelets in the blood. It is usually given for symptoms of manic depression (depression, aggression, and hyperactivity).

The drug may cause teratogenic effects (halts pregnancy or produce congenital malformations). The use of Lithium carbonate in pregnancy should be carefully considered and closely controlled.

9. Folic acid

Folic acid is common in the treatment of blood disorders like anemia. It is also widely known to support in the production of blood cells (including platelets) and prevention of DNA damage.

Folic acid also helps in the renewal of epithelial cells of the digestive tract, as well as the vaginal epithelium. In uncontrolled amount however, it may lead to gastritis, vaginal infection, and inflammation.

The vitamin is also recommended for use as a supplement during pregnancy because of its significance in the development of the fetus. Folic acid deficiency can cause severe birth defects including abnormalities in the brain of the child, known as neural tube defects. In some cases where no noticeable signs of folic acid deficiency can be seen, it is still possible even after childbirth to be diagnosed of neural tube defects.

Folic acid can be found in green vegetables, beans, etc.

folic-acid-foods

10. Vitamin B12

The vitamin assists in the formation of blood components like platelets but more significant with erythrocytes. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include: confusion, depression, tiredness, peripheral neuropathy, psychosis, megaloblastic anemia, dementia, poor memory, nausea, glossitis, constipation, and loss of appetite.

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in children is exacerbated with problems in growth and development, and movement difficulties. Read vitamin and minerals for low blood platelets.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be influenced by various factors where it usually takes 3-5 years before appearance of symptoms can be observed.

Neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may appear without signs of anemia, which occurs in 75% to 90% of people who lack the vitamin. Symptoms include numbness of the hands and feet, difficulty in walking, failing memory, disorientation, myelopathy, mood swings, irritability, mononeuropathy (optical or olfactory), autonomic neuropathy (impotence, urinary or fecal incontinence), and problems with concentration. In children will appear irritability, poor growth and development, apathy, and anorexia.

Vitamin B12 is commonly found in foods of animal origin. Good sources are fish, shellfish, dairy products, liver, kidney, eggs, veal, and pork.

Plant foods rarely contain vitamin B12. For example. Tempeh – fermented traditional soy product (contains vitamin B12 in very small amounts).

This makes vegetarians recommended to eat adequate eggs and dairy products to reach the required amount of vitamin B12. Vegans as well as individuals on macrobiotic diet should also consider the intake of the vitamin. They may want to look into vitamin B12 in the form of supplements.

There you have a list of some commonly used drugs and medications observed in the management of low platelets. To have more understanding on what are low platelets and what could have caused it, click here.

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Updated: October 9, 2018

About the Author:

Melissa Gomez, RN, MSN is a board certified nurse and has been a contributing writer for the past five years. Ms. Gomez has a special focus on platelet-related illness prevention and health promotion.

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