Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

What is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?

ITP is a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that help stop bleeding. A decrease in platelets can result in easy bruising, bleeding gums, and internal bleeding.

    * "Idiopathic" means the cause is unknown.
    * "Thrombocytopenia" means a decreased number of platelets in the blood.
    * "Purpura" refers to the purple discoloring of the skin, as with a bruise.

What causes idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?

Idiopathic means no known cause. However, when a cause can be identified, it may be a result of the following:

    * medications (including over-the-counter medications)
    * infection
    * pregnancy
    * immune disorders


Treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura:

Specific treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura will be determined by your physician based on:

    * your age, overall health, and medical history
    * extent of the disease
    * your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
    * expectations for the course of the disease
    * your opinion or preference


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