Bleeding Disorders
Bleeding Disorders

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 causes few or no symptoms.

Bleeding disorders currently have no cure, but they are treatable. NHLBI is funding research and clinical studies that may lead to gene therapy products that could one day cure certain bleeding disorders.

Your healthcare team

Bleeding disorders affect many parts of the body, so you may need a team of specialized healthcare providers for your care. This often 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.


The following medicines may help treat your bleeding disorder.

  • Antifibrinolytic agents, such as tranexamic acid, help treat bleeding after childbirth or during dental work and other procedures.
  • Birth control pills can help lower heavy menstrual bleeding in VWD.
  • Desmopressin (DDAVP), a human-made hormone, can help stop minor bleeding in hemophilia or VWD.
  • Immunosuppressive medicines, such as prednisone, help block production of antibodies in acquired bleeding disorders. Side effects can include infections and diabetes.
  • Monoclonal antibodies can imitate the missing factor to help blood form clots. For example, emicizumab is an antibody that bridges factors IX and X to mimic the way factor VIII works, which can help treat people with hemophilia A.
  • 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 healthcare provider 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.

Factor replacement therapy may include different components.

  • Clotting factor concentrates replace the missing clotting factor in your blood. This treatment can raise the risk of developing antibodies that block clotting factors, which can make your bleeding disorder harder to treat. Sometimes, factor concentrates in higher amounts can still help treat bleeding disorders related to antibodies.
  • Fresh frozen plasma, from human blood, contains all the clotting factors. It can help treat the bleeding disorders that occur when multiple clotting factors are missing, such as liver disease-associated bleeding.
  • Bypassing agents can help your blood clot when antibodies that block clotting factors are causing your bleeding disorder. This treatment can raise the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels.
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