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Drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia

Authors
James N George, MD
Donald M Arnold, MD, MSc
Section Editor
Lawrence LK Leung, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD

INTRODUCTION

Unexplained thrombocytopenia is a common clinical problem, and the possibility of drug-induced thrombocytopenia must be considered, especially in hospitalized patients. Drugs can cause thrombocytopenia by several mechanisms including direct bone marrow or other organ toxicity.

This topic review discusses drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia (DITP), in which the mechanism involves antibody-mediated platelet destruction caused by exposure to a drug that leads to isolated thrombocytopenia (without anemia or leukopenia). The "drug" in this context may be a prescribed medication (or its metabolite), over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplement, food, beverage, or other substance. The unique thrombocytopenic drug reaction caused by heparin (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia [HIT]) is reviewed as a separate topic. (See "Clinical presentation and diagnosis of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia".)

General approaches to evaluating patients with thrombocytopenia in various settings are presented separately:

Neonates – (See "Causes of neonatal thrombocytopenia".)

Children – (See "Clinical manifestations and evaluation of thrombocytopenia in children".)

                              

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Literature review current through: Jul 2016. | This topic last updated: May 31, 2016.
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