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 blood 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:
Avoid taking the following medicines, which make it harder for your blood to clot (unless directed to by your healthcare provider):
Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Don’t take any other medicine without checking with your healthcare provider first. This includes over-the-counter medicines and any herbal remedies or 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 prior to any procedures.
Lower your risk for bleeding
Recommendations to lower your risk include:
Speak to your healthcare provider 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. 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.
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:
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
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
October 09, 2017
Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) in Adults: Initial Treatment and Prognosis. UpToDate, StatRef. ACP Smart Medicine, Journal Club & AHFS DI® Essentials™. 2013.
Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN,Gersten, Todd, MD