Supportive Treatment

Most Australian PNH patients receive one or several forms of the following treatment options.

Blood Transfusions

A patient may require a blood transfusion to replace blood cells lost through haemolysis.  Usually only red blood cells are transfused, as the plasma and leukocytes (white blood cells) have been removed from whole blood. Some patients need occasional transfusions after an illness, injury or surgery and other patients may be transfusion-dependent, requiring regular transfusions every few months or weeks.

Prescription medication and supplements

Some patients are prescribed corticosteroids (such as prednisolone or dexamethasone) to reduce the rate of haemolysis by suppressing the body’s immune response, which in turn suppresses complement activation.

Anticoagulants (for example, warfarin) may be prescribed to reduce the risk of a blood clot, particularly if a patient has already had a thrombotic event.

Folic acid and iron supplements may be prescribed to assist the body’s production of blood cells to counteract the effects of haemolysis.

Natural therapies

Many patients turn to complementary and natural therapies such as acupuncture, massage, meditation and drug-free pain management techniques to help ease the symptoms of PNH.

Natural therapies may help to reduce pain and stress. However, certain herbal medications can enhance some prescription drugs, particularly anticoagulants and others can exacerbate PNH symptoms, leading to life-threatening complications.

Since PNH is unpredicatable and differs between individuals, it is important to discuss your condition in detail with your medical practitioner and treating specialist prior to taking any non-prescribed supplements.

Disclaimer: This information has been prepared by members of the PNHSAA Inc and has been checked for accuracy by practitioners experienced with PNH. The PNHSAA Inc does not guarantee its accuracy, it is intended as general information only and not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your medical practitioner for further information regarding your personal circumstances.


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