There are different approaches and treatment options to treat chronic ITP. It's important to talk with your doctor about your options and what’s right for you.
Different chronic ITP treatment approaches
There are two different ways your doctor may choose to treat chronic ITP1,2:
DECREASE activity of the immune system to REDUCE PLATELET DESTRUCTION1,2
Treatments that may help do this:
INCREASE activity of platelet-producing cells to INCREASE PLATELET PRODUCTION1-3
Treatments that may help do this:
*Platelet-booster medicines, such as Nplate®, are indicated for use after certain other medications have not worked well enough.
Each approach treats one of the processes involved with the disease. Treating either process has been shown to raise low platelet counts.2-4 Different treatments for ITP have different benefits and risks. Talk with your doctor about your options and what’s right for you.
Medicines that work on the immune system
If you have just been diagnosed with ITP or are on traditional ITP therapy, then your doctor may prescribe one of
these medicines commonly used to treat ITP2:
- Corticosteroids, sometimes called immunosuppressants
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
These medications work on the immune system so fewer healthy platelets will be destroyed. Corticosteroids are often the first treatment a patient receives for
ITP. According to the ICR guidelines, the use of corticosteroids is only recommended for short periods because some patients cannot tolerate the side effects.2,5 Talk to your doctor to find out what is the most appropriate treatment option for you.
*Rituximab is not approved by the FDA for use in chronic ITP.6
Prescribing Information & Medication Guide
Surgery to remove the spleen
If corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs do not increase platelet counts enough to help your ITP symptoms, your doctor may suggest a splenectomy. A splenectomy is surgery to remove your spleen, which is an organ that is part of the immune system.7 In ITP, patients make antibodies against their platelets. One way that platelets marked with antibodies are removed from the blood is by the spleen.8 After your spleen is removed, platelets marked with antibodies may stay in the blood longer.9,10
As with most treatment options, splenectomy may not work for everyone’s ITP, but many adult patients may achieve sustained platelet counts with this type of surgery.5 After a splenectomy there may be an increased risk for blood clots and of getting more serious infections.9-11 When surgery to remove the spleen has not worked well enough or if you have had insufficient response to other medicine to treat ITP, your doctor may suggest a platelet-booster medicine such as Nplate® to help raise your low platelet levels and improve your ITP symptoms.
If initial therapy does not work well, your doctor may suggest a platelet booster medicine. Platelet-booster medicines do not work with the immune system. Instead, platelet boosters act like thrombopoietin (TPO), a protein in your body that signals cells in the bone marrow to make platelets. Using a platelet booster may help cells in the bone marrow make more platelets to reduce the risk of bleeding.3
Nplate® is a man-made protein medicine used to treat low blood platelet counts in adults with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), when certain other medicines, or surgery to remove your spleen, have not worked well enough.12
Nplate® is not for use in people with a precancerous condition called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or low platelet count caused by any condition other than chronic (lasting a long time) immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Nplate® is only used if your low platelet count and medical condition increase your risk of bleeding. Nplate® is used to try to keep your platelet count about 50,000 per microliter in order to lower the risk for bleeding. Nplate® is not used to make your platelet count normal. It is not known if Nplate® works or if it is safe in people under the age of 18.12