Q:

How do you treat porphyria?

A:

Quick Answer

Acute porphyria is treated by changing medications, treating underlying conditions, intravenous fluids and taking glucose, and cutaneous porphyria is treated by medication, drawing blood, beta carotene and vitamin D, states Mayo Clinic. It may be necessary to eliminate triggers that cause porphyria, such as sunlight or some medications.

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Full Answer

The goal of acute porphyria treatment is to prevent complications and minimize the symptoms, notes Mayo Clinic. A doctor may prescribe medications to reduce nausea, vomiting or pain. Some medications may exacerbate symptoms, so a physician may substitute medications as needed. When there is an underlying condition causing symptoms, that condition is treated as needed. Glucose may be administered either orally or intravenously, and hemin may be injected to limit the body's porphyrin production.

To treat cutaneous porphyria, the goal is to reduce porphyrins in the body and minimize sunlight exposure, states Mayo Clinic. One way to reduce porphyrins is to draw blood, which decreases iron and porphyrins. Some medications may be prescribed to absorb porphyrins. Some doctors may prescribe beta carotene to be taken over time, which may make the skin less susceptible to sunlight exposure. Because it may be necessary to avoid triggers such as sunlight, a doctor may recommend taking vitamin D supplements to prevent a deficiency.

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