Sickle Cell Disease Information
Patient have effective treatments available to them to help in relieving the
symptoms of sickle cell disease, but in most cases there is no
- Managing Pain: Mild pain crises can be managed with over-the-counter
pain medications, hydration and heating pads.
Severe pain may need to be treated with upon evaluation in
the emergency room and or inpatient hospitalization.
- Hydroxyurea: Only FDA-approved drug for sickle cell
anemia. It is use routinely in adults and older adults in hope
of reducing the number of painful crises and
hospitalizations. Taking this medication can have some
serious side effects which should be monitored very closely
by your hematologist (sickle cell disease expert).
- Preventing Infections: To prevent infection which are very
common with sickle cell anemia includes daily doses of
penicillin for children as early as age 2 to at least age 5.
Vaccinations for pneumonia, meninigitis, influenza, hepatitis
B and annual flu shots should be done.
- Transfusions: In children with sickle cell disease, regular
ultrasounds of the head are routinely done. If your child is at
high risk for a stroke, routine blood tranfusions are started to
prevent future strokes. Transfusions may also be required during acute chest syndrome crises.
- Bone Marrow Transplant: Is the most effective treatment
for sickle cell anemia. Bone marrow used for a transplant
must come from a closely matched donor usually a close
family member without sickle cell anemia.
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