Bleeding Disorders Treatment
Treatment for bleeding disorders will vary depending on the type of disorder and may include medicines and factor replacement therapy. Your treatment may be every day to prevent bleeding episodes, or as needed when you plan for surgery or have an accident. You may not need treatment if your bleeding disorder is mild.
Your healthcare team
Bleeding disorders affect many parts of the body, so you will need a team of different doctors for your care. This includes a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood disorders. It may also include a specialized nurse, physical therapist, and social worker. You and your healthcare team may develop a treatment plan that is best for you depending on the bleeding disorder.
Medicines to treat bleeding disorders may include:
- Antifibrinolytic agents, such as tranexamic acid, treat bleeding after childbirth or during procedures such as those involving dental work.
- Birth control pills are used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding for women with von Willebrand disease.
- Desmopressin (DDAVP), a human-made hormone, treats minor bleeding in hemophilia or VWD.
- medicines, such as prednisone, help block production of antibodies in acquired bleeding disorders. Side effects can include infections and diabetes.
- Vitamin K supplements treat vitamin K deficiency bleeding.
Factor replacement therapy
Factor replacement therapy is a type of treatment where clotting factors that are from blood donations or made in a lab are given to replace the missing clotting factor. Your doctor may recommend factor replacement therapy when you experience bleeding or to prevent bleeding from occurring. Treatment with replacement therapy on a regular basis to prevent bleeding is called prophylactic treatment. Prophylactic (preventive) treatment is most often used for severe bleeding disorders.
Factor replacement therapy may include:
- Bypassing medicines treat antibodies. These medicines add other types of clotting factors to help your blood clot. This treatment can raise the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels.
- Clotting factor concentrates replace the missing clotting factor in inherited bleeding disorders. This treatment can raise the risk of antibodies forming in the blood. Sometimes factor concentrates are used in higher doses to treat bleeding disorders related to antibodies.
- Fresh frozen plasma, from human blood, provides clotting factors. It is used for bleeding disorders caused when multiple clotting factors are missing, such as liver disease-associated bleeding.