Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura
(Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura; ITP)
- Lasts less than 6 months
- Usually occurs in children
- Most common type of ITP
- Lasts longer than 6 months
- Usually occurs in adults
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- Easy bruising
- Blood in urine or stools
- Bleeding for longer than normal following an injury
- Unexplained nosebleeds
- Bleeding from the gums
- In adult women, heavier-than-normal menstrual periods
- Red dots—may occur in groups and resemble a rash
- Bleeding within the intestinal tract or brain—rare
- Blood tests
- Bone marrow tests
- Steroids to lower the activity of the immune system and decrease the destruction of platelets
- Gamma globulin infusions to slow down platelet destruction; it usually works more quickly than steroids
- Take precautions in your child's environment. Consider padding an infant's crib or play area.
- Make sure that older children wear helmets and protective gear when playing sports. This will help to reduce bruising injuries.
- Consider temporarily stopping contact sports such as football and rough game playing when platelet counts are low.
- Avoid medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen. These medications can reduce platelet activity.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Medical Association Journal http://www.cmaj.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Bussel JB; Cheng G; et al. Eltrombopag for the treatment of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. N Engl J Med. 2007 Nov 29;357(22):2237-2247.
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 12, 2015. Accessed June 30, 2015.
George JN, Woolf SH, et al. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: a practice guideline developed by explicit methods for The American Society of Hematology. Available at: http://www.ouhsc.edu/platelets/itp/ITP%20Publications/pub2%5F1.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2015.
Karpatkin S. Autoimmune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura. Lancet. 1997;349:1531-1536.
Newland A, Caulier MT, et al. An open-label, unit dose-finding study of AMG 531, a novel thrombopoiesis-stimulating peptibody, in patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Br J Haematol. 2006 Nov;135(4):547-553.
What is immune thrombocytopenia? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/itp/. Updated March 14, 2012. Accessed June 30, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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