Medications


Discharge Instructions for Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)

Your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). ITP is also called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. ITP is a bleeding disorder that causes your immune system to destroy your platelets. Platelets are cells that help stop bleeding. If your body doesn't have enough platelets, your risk for bleeding goes up. Here's what you can do at home to lower your risk.

Medicine and medical care

Here are tips to follow:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about which medicines you should not take. Don't take the following medicines, unless directed to by your healthcare provider. They make it harder for your blood to clot:

    • Aspirin

    • Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

    • Warfarin

  • Don’t take any other medicine without checking with your provider first. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements.

  • Take all medicines exactly as directed.

  • Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can make it harder for your blood to clot and put you at risk for accidents.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your healthcare provider will need to check your blood platelet count closely. 

  • Tell your dentist or other healthcare providers that you have ITP before any procedures.

Lower your risk for bleeding

Recommendations to lower your risk include: 

  • Talk with your healthcare provider before playing any sports, especially contact sports, or activities that carry a risk for injury.

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

  • Use an electric razor when shaving. 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 healthcare provider or dentist where you can get one.

Follow-up

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

When to call your healthcare provider

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

  • Easy bruising

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

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

  • Blood in your urine or stool

  • Bleeding from your nose or gums

  • Heavier than normal menstrual bleeding for women

  • Head injury or any major injury

  • Headaches, confusion, or changes in your vision

© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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