One form of ITP treatment is Anti-D Anti-body. This is just one of the conventional medical treatments doctors prescribe for idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (an autoimmune disease where the body destroys it’s own blood platelets. Marketed under the names of WinRho SDF or Rhophylac, Anti-D Antibody is a blood product used to raise the blood platelet count temporarily and occasionally longer term. In one study it was found to be effective about 80% of the time although the effects were temporary. the effects usually last about a month. Just what is Anti-D you might ask?. It is a freeze dried gamma globulin fraction which contains antibodies to Rh (D). It is made of human plasma from a limited list of donors. The plasma undergoes a viral inactivation and micro filtering process using a solvent detergent.
The donors are stimulated to produce Immunoglobulin with high levels of specific antibodies, thereby reducing the cost of the treatment by at least half of what IVIg treatment would cost. It is also safer to use then IVIg , because Anti-D has been treated to inactivate any form of viral contamination. Because Anti-D antibodies and action are so specific, it is only effective for people who still have their spleen and are Rh positive (about 85% of population). It may not be suitable for some pregnant women. Anti-D Antibody is taken either through an IV drip, which usually takes about half an hour or through an IV push, which just as the term indicates, pushes the infusion through your blood stream in about 5 minutes. These treatments can be given as a single dose or 2 doses over separate days. The frequency and dose is determined by the patient’s clinical response.
What are the side effects? Not pleasant to be sure and sometimes even deadly. They range from headaches, chills, fever and body aches, pain and swelling at the injection site. Not everyone experiences the same side effects. For people sensitive to blood products there is a remote risk of shock.. Anemia is also a problem because of the destruction of red blood cells. Monitoring the patient is especially important for people with low hemoglobin. Sometimes rare but serious complications such as intravascular hemolysis can occur which is releases hemoglobin into the plasma and involves pre-mature destruction of the red blood cells, and can result in death. Patients should be advised of warning signs for intravascular hemolysis such as back pain, shaking chills, fever, discolored urine, fluid retention, decreased urine, shortness of breath and sudden weight gain.
If you have ITP disorder and your physician has recommended Anti-D Antibody you should discuss all aspects of treatment with him, especially potential side effects in order to make the right decision about your health.
It seems like an awful lot of risk for a temporary fix. Don’t you think? Consider the risks and look for safer alternatives.