Chemotherapy and drug therapy is used for essential thrombocythemia (ET) to lower your platelet count. Your doctor may use one or more of the following drugs:
- Hydroxyurea (Hydrea®)
- Anagrelide (Agrylin®)
- Interferon alfa (Intron® A, Roferan-A®)
- Aspirin therapy. Aspirin, given by mouth, is effective for patients at high risk for clotting complications and is commonly prescribed. In patients with low risk for clotting, evidence for its use is less strong. It may also increase bleeding risk in patients with extremely high platelets. For these reasons, the use of aspirin in treating ET needs to be individualized. Pregnant patients may be treated with low-dose aspirin to reduce the risk of miscarriage, fetal growth retardation, premature delivery or other complications. Aspirin should be avoided for at least one week prior to delivery to reduce any risk of bleeding complications in the mother or the newborn.
For information about the drugs mentioned on this page, visit Drug Listings.
- Chemotherapy and Other Drug Therapies
- Managing Side Effects
- Integrative Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Therapies
- Food and Nutrition
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet Understanding Side Effects of Drug Therapy