Discharge Instructions for Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) - Fairview Health Services
 
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Discharge Instructions for Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)

Your doctor has diagnosed you with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) also called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. This blood disorder causes your immune system to destroy your own platelets (cells that help stop bleeding). As a result, you don't have enough platelets, so your risk for bleeding is increased. Here's what you can do at home to lower your risk.

Medication and Medical Care

  • Avoid taking the following drugs, which interfere with blood clotting:

    • Aspirin

    • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

    • Warfarin (Coumadin)

  • Don’t take any other medications without checking with your doctor first. This includes over-the-counter medications and any herbal remedies or supplements.

  • Take all medications exactly as directed.

  • Limit your alcohol intake.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your doctor will need to monitor your blood platelet count closely.

  • Tell your dentist or other health providers that you have ITP prior to any procedures.

Lower Your Risk for Bleeding

  • Speak to your doctor before engaging in any sports or athletic activities that carry a risk of injury.

  • Do what you can to avoid bruising or bumping yourself.

  • Use an electric razor when shaving and be careful when using sharp items such as nail trimmers or knives.

  • Blow your nose very gently to prevent nosebleeds.

  • Use a cool steam vaporizer to keep the air inside your home moist enough to prevent nosebleeds.

  • Wear hard-soled shoes when outside.

  • Use gloves and wear long pants when gardening or doing other activities where your skin could get scratched.

  • If you have problems with gum bleeding, use a sponge toothbrush (instead of one with bristles). Ask your doctor or dentist where you can get one.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Easy bruising

  • Bleeding for no apparent reason, heavy bleeding, or bleeding that lasts longer than usual

  • Tiny areas of pinpoint bleeding on (or just under) the skin of the arms or legs (called petechiae)

  • Blood in your urine or stool

  • Bleeding from your nose or gums

  • Heavier than usual menstrual bleeding for women

  • Head trauma or injury or any significant injury

  • Headaches, confusion, or changes in your vision

  • Stiff neck

 

 

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