For many people with polycythemia vera (PV), starting treatment helps them focus on what lies ahead and what they need to do. PV is a chronic disease: It's not curable, but it can usually be managed effectively for long periods. Careful medical supervision and therapy to keep hematocrit or hemoglobin levels near normal are important.
Types of PV Treatment
Doctors use two main initial treatments for PV:
Your doctor may suggest that you participate in a clinical trial. Clinical trials can involve therapy with new drugs and new drug combinations.
PV therapies are aimed at:
- lowering the hematocrit and hemoglobin concentration to normal or near-normal levels
- lowering the platelet count if it's high or it becomes high over time
- Your doctor may combine drug therapy with phlebotomy or replace phlebotomy with another treatment if it's not sufficiently controlling your hematocrit or hemoglobin concentration.