So you have been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome? Learn more about treatment options.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a disorder of the immune system that causes excessive blood clotting. It is also referred to by some physicians as phospholipid antibody syndrome. Antiphospholipid syndrome is commonly associated with those who have Lupus. It wasn’t until the 1980s when a rheumatologist in London, England by the name of Dr. Graham Hughes discovered that people without Lupus can also suffer from antiphospholipid syndrome. Because of his discovery, this syndrome is often called Hughes syndrome. For those that suffer from Antiphospholipid syndrome who do not have Lupus, it is generally referred to as Primary APS. It is called Secondary APS for those who have Lupus and suffer from Antiphospholipid syndrome.
Antiphospholipid syndrome isn’t common and according to MedicineCabinetMD, only 2% of the population is afflicted with this disorder. In some cases, Antiphospholipid syndrome is temporary and occurs when a bacterial, viral, parasitic infection is present. In other cases, the person has to deal with excessive blood clotting for the rest of their lives.
Antiphospholipid syndrome is caused when the antiphospholipid antibody build in the blood. Although it is a protein, it isn’t a protein normally found in the blood. Often times these occurs after taking certain types of prescription medications such as antibiotics, procainamide used as a heart medication, quinine to treat malaria, and hydralazine to treat high blood pressure.
So what are the treatment options for those who have antiphospholipid syndrome? Honestly, it depends upon the patient. Each treatment option is unique to the individual. For the most part those with antiphospholipid syndrome are prescribed blood thinners. The most common blood thinners for this disorder are Warfarin, Heparin, or simply aspirin. It depends of the severity of the blood clotting that occurs.
Some people only suffer from certain features of antiphospholipid syndrome. In this case, often times the doctor will prescribe prednisone. Other times hydroxychloroquine is prescribe to APS suffers who also deal with systemic lupus erythematosus
Other treatment options treat other symptoms relating to antiphospholipid syndrome. ASP can cause headaches, seizures, vision issues, strokes, memory loss, inflammation of the spinal cord, and much more. It has also lead to other disorders and miscarriages in women. The doctor may prescribe other medication to help deal with other symptoms of Antiphospholipid syndrome.
Although debated on its overall effectiveness, intravenous gamma globulin is given to those who are pregnant and have a history of miscarriages due to antiphospholipid syndrome. Some doctors debate that an aspirin works just as well.
So to sum it up, doctor will place the patient on a type of blood thinner. Then he or she will focus on the other issues that are being caused by having antiphospholipid syndrome. Depending upon the complication will depend how the doctor will choose to treat the disorder.