What Are the Treatments for Low Platelet Counts?

One of the most common treatments for patients with a low platelet count, medically known as thrombocytopenia, is prescription glucocorticoids, immunosuppressive drugs or thrombopoietin receptor agonists. In more severe cases, intravenous immune globulin medications or surgery are necessary, according to WebMD.

For those with extremely low platelet levels, a blood transfusion may be necessary, explains Mayo Clinic. Extreme cases require a platelet count of 50,000 or below, a mild case falls in between 50,000 and 100,000, and normal platelets range from 150,000 to 450,000. Patients who are diagnosed with a mild case are typically prescribed prednisone, a glucocorticoid. Prednisone is taken daily for one to two weeks and then gradually lessened for another four to eight weeks depending on how quickly the patient’s platelet levels rise.

For those prescribed an intravenous immune globulin, an IV is started and the medications are given over the period of several hours and span one to five days, reports WebMD. Immunosuppressive drugs are prescribed when other medications or surgery do not work. These drugs are more likely to be given to patient’s with low platelet counts due to cancers. Thrombopoietin receptor agonists are used to maintain a patient’s platelet count and are taken daily in pill or tablet form.