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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers March 21, 2018
Pharmacy Choice - Aplastic Anemia Disease State Management - March 21, 2018

Aplastic Anemia Disease State Management

Aplastic anemia is a rare disease that affects approximately 2 to 6 out of every 1 million people in the US. It is a disease of the bone marrow which ultimately leads to the body's inability to produce a sufficient amount of new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Patients who suffer from this disease are susceptible to infection, prolonged bleeding from normal cuts and lesions due to the body's reduced ability to clot, and general fatigue due to decreased amounts of red blood cells that are responsible for delivering oxygen and removing waste throughout the body.

Aplastic anemia can be caused by exposure to radiation, chemotherapy, environmental toxins, select medications, viral infections (hepatitis, parvovirus B19, HIV, infectious mononucleosis), and some types of autoimmune diseases. Although a rare disease, early diagnosis by blood tests and confirmation by bone marrow biopsy is critical in providing the best treatment options for your patients.

Treatment options are based upon severity of the anemia and the cause of the disease. Patients who experience short-term anemia caused by pregnancy, infectious mononucleosis, and radiation therapy should recover without treatment. However, supportive therapy to treat low blood counts may be necessary through blood transfusions and preventative antibiotic therapy. Although these are necessary to treat the symptoms, they will not cure the disease. Treatment options for true Aplastic anemia include bone marrow transplant and immunosuppressive therapy. Success rates vary by patient age, but can be as high as 80% with a good bone marrow match.

Links - Aplastic Anemia
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute - Overview of Aplastic Anemia.

The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation is the oldest and largest patient advocate and support organization for aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), and other bone marrow failure diseases.

Information for healthcare professionals’ from Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

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