Treatment forpolycythaemia aims to prevent symptoms and complications (such as blood clots), and treat any underlying causes.
Some of the main treatments used are described below.
Venesection is the simplest and quickest way of reducing the number of red cells in your blood. It may be recommended if you have PV, a history of blood clots, or symptoms suggesting your blood is too thick (see above).
Venesectioninvolves removing aboutone pint (half a litre) of blood at a time, in a similar way to the procedure used for blood donation .
How often this isneeded will be different for each person. At first, you may need the treatment every week, but once your condition is under control you may only need it every 6-12 weeks or less.
For more information, read an NHS leaflet on having a venesection (PDF, 335kb) .
In cases of PV, medicationmaybe prescribed to slow down the production of red blood cells.
Many differentmedications are available and your specialist will take into account your age and health, response to venesection and red blood cell count when choosing the most appropriateone for you. Examples include:
If you have PV, daily low-dose aspirin tablets may be prescribed to help preventblood clots and reduce the risk of serious complications.
You may also be offered treatment with low-dose aspirin if you have apparent or secondary polycythaemia and another condition affecting your blood vessels, such as coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular disease .
Read about polycythaemia, or erythrocytosis, which means having a high concentration of red blood cells in your blood.
Treatment forpolycythaemia aims to prevent symptoms and complications (such as blood clots), and treat any underlying causes. Some of the main treatments used are described below. Venesection Venes
Some people may alsoneed treatment for any other symptoms or complications of polycythaemiathey have, or for any underlying cause of the condition. For example, you may be givenmedication to help rel
If you havepolycythaemia, your clinical team will pass information about you on to the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Diseases Registration Service (NCARDRS). This helps scientists look for bet
Mild cases of polycythaemia may not cause any problems, butsome people with polycythaemia can experience: Headaches blurred vision red skin particularly in the face, hands and feet tiredness
Theslow blood flow associated with polycythaemia can also cause blood clots . These can be seriousbecause theymay put you at risk of life-threatening problems such as: heart attacks pulmonary em
Polycythaemia can be divided into several differenttypes, depending on the underlying cause of the condition. In some cases,an underlying cause can't be identified. Apparentpolycythaemia "Apparent p
Polycythaemiacan bediagnosed by carrying out a blood test to check: the number of red blood cells in your blood ( red blood cell count ) the amount of space the red blood cells take up in the blood