Hemolytic Anemia Treatment

Specific treatment for hemolytic anemia will be determined by your physician based on by several factors including your age, overall health, medical history, causes of hemolytic anemia.

Blood transfusion: Symptomatic treatment can be given by blood transfusion, if there is marked anemia. A blood transfusion is a common procedure in which blood is given to you through an intravenous (IV) line in one of your blood vessels.

Medicines: In autoimmune hemolytic anemia, steroid therapy is sometimes necessary. Corticosteroid medicines, such as prednisone, are used to limit or prevent your immune system from making antibodies against red blood cells. If you don’t respond to corticosteroids, your doctor may prescribe other medicines to suppress your immune system.

Surgery: Splenectomy may be the first choice of treatment in some types of hemolytic anemia such as hereditary spherocytosis. The spleen is an organ in the abdomen. A healthy spleen helps fight infection and filters out old or damaged blood cells. An enlarged or diseased spleen may remove more red blood cells than normal, causing anemia. Removing the spleen can stop or reduce high rates of red blood cell destruction. In other cases, such as in autoimmune hemolytic anemia, it is recommended when other measures have failed. Splenectomy is usually not recommended in hemolytic disorders such as cold agglutinin hemolytic anemia.

Bone Marrow Transplants: Blood and marrow stem cell transplants may be used to treat some types of hemolytic anemia, such as thalassemias.

Change in diet: Eat a varied diet rich in vitamin and mineral supplements. If you have autoimmune hemolytic anemia with cold-reactive antibodies, try to avoid cold temperatures. This can help prevent the breakdown of red blood cells. It’s very important to protect your fingers, toes, and ears from the cold. Patients with G6PD deficiency should avoid eating fava beans, and certain medicines (such acetanilid, furazolidone, isobutyl nitrite, nalidixic acid, naphthalene, niridazole).

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