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We will determine your child's specific treatment plan based on a number of factors:
Your child's age, overall health and medical history
Type of ITP (acute versus chronic)
Severity and extent of the disorder
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
You and your child's expectations, opinions and preferences
ITP Treatment: Monitoring
Not all children with ITP require treatment. We may recommend closely monitoring your child's platelets and preventing serious bleeding complications. This may be the best course of action until your child's body is able to correct the disorder on its own. Many children with ITP are able to spontaneously recover within six months.
ITP Treatment Options
If we decide treatment is necessary, the two most common forms of treatment are steroids and intravenous gamma globulin:
Steroids for ITP
Steroids help prevent bleeding by decreasing the rate of platelet destruction. Steroids, if effective, will result in an increase in platelet counts seen within two to three weeks. Side effects may include irritability, stomach irritation, weight gain, hypertension and acne.
Intravenous Gamma Globulin (IVGG) for ITP
Intravenous gamma globulin (IVGG) is a protein that contains many antibodies and also slows the destruction of platelets. IVGG works more quickly than steroids (within 24 to 48 hours).
Other Treatments for ITP
Other treatment options may include:
Rh immune globulin: Temporarily stops the spleen from destroying platelets. Your child must be Rh positive and have a spleen for this medication to be effective.
Medication changes: If we suspect that your child's medication is causing the ITP, we will recommend discontinuing or changing the medication.
Infection treatment: If an infection is causing the ITP, then treating the infection may result in higher platelet counts.
Splenectomy: In some cases, the child's spleen may need to be removed, since this is the most active site of platelet destruction. We consider this option more often in older children and adults with chronic ITP to decrease the rate of platelet destruction.
Hormone therapy: Teenage girls may need to take hormones to stop their menstrual cycle when their platelets are low if excessive bleeding occurs.
Medicines: The FDA approved two new medications for ITP: N-plate and Promacta. They stimulate the bone marrow to produce more platelets.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!