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Is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura curable?

Q: I am a 67 years old male.I had a physical exam last year and my platelets were 209,000. I took a Shingles vaccine 10 months back. After two months, I went to doctor and underwent tests which showed that my platelets had dropped to 6000. The doctor told me that it is due to viral infection. It has now been eight months that I am suffering from Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Is Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura curable? I am experiencing weakness, tiredness and restlessness. After every 4 – 6 weeks, I go to the hospital for IVIg.

A:ITP can occur after viral infection or post vaccination. ITP never causes weakness, extreme tiredness, or mental disturbance. These symptoms may be due to stress.

Patients whose platelet counts fall after a course of IVIg are treated with steroids for 4-6 weeks, and then depending upon the response, steroids are tapered off.

Those patients who don't respond to steroids or whose platelet counts fall after tapering off steroids, need second line drugs.


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