Acquired hemolytic anemia is not always the result of an autoimmune disorder. In some cases, certain commonly used medicines can cause the condition, including anti-inflammatory medicines, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin, and methicillin.
Other medications that can cause acquired hemolytic anemia include interferon alpha, used to modulate immune system response to viruses, bacteria cancer, and other foreign invaders to the body; methyldopa, an antihypertensive medication; and quinine, used to treat malaria and babesiosis. Doctors have also pointed to procainamide, used for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias; rifampin, an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis; levodopa, for treating Parkinson’s disease; and chemotherapy as causes as well.
Receiving a blood transfusion with the wrong blood type is one cause of the most severe forms of acquired hemolytic anemia, which is why it is crucial to type and match the blood before performing a transfusion. If medication is the cause of acquired hemolytic anemia, you most likely will stop taking the medication. In mild cases, you may not require any other treatment.
Doctors may recommend steroids, such as prednisone or hydrocortisone, to curb the attack on the red blood cells by the immune system. Certain medicines, such as azathioprine or cyclophosphamide, can be given to help calm the immune system as well. If you are not responding to the corticosteroids, your doctor may suggest other remedies to suppress the immune system, such as rituximab and cyclosporine.
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