ITP is also known as Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura

Once a diagnosis of ITP has been reached there are a number of options for treatment. In Australia the individual needs and factors of the patient are taken into account when deciding on the course of action taken. This includes age, mobility and lifestyle.

The initial treatment will normally include Corticosteroids and/or IVIg followed by secondary treatments. These currently include Rituximab, TPORAs (Romiplostim and Eltrombopag) and/or Splenectomy. In Australia, in order to receive government funded (PBS) Romiplostim or Eltrombopag, most people with ITP will need to have splenectomy first, and only if the splenectomy has not been successful will they be able to access these drugs.

Treatments and their effectiveness are as unique as each patient.
What works for one patient may not work as effectively as another.

About Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system to raise the platelet count. Treatment is normally administered in the form of an oral tablet with the dosage determined by your medical professional.

About IVIg

Intravenous Immunoglobin is also known as IVIg. IVIg is a solution of human donated plasma proteins and, in particular, IgG antibodies with a broad spectrum of antibody activities.

About Rituximab

Research indicates that Rituximab has a better response rate in patients that have had ITP for under two years. It has been shown that 50-60% of patients during this timeframe achieve a platelet count of >50 x 109/L.

About TPO-RAs

There are three TPORA treatments available in Australia. These treatments are available prior to splenectomy and include Romiplostim (NPlate), Eltrombopag (Revolade or Promacta) and Avatrombopag (Doptelet), which was added for use in Australia on 1 July 2023.

Learn more about Thrombopoietin Receptor Agonists (TPORA) and the current treatments.

About Immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressant medication can be used across various autoimmune diseases. It works by decreasing the body’s immune system. These medications include Mycophenolate mofetil (also known as MMF and CellCept®), Azathioprine (also known as Imuran) and Cyclosporine.

About Splenectomy

This is a surgical procedure which involves the removal of the spleen. Located underneath the ribcage on the left side, the spleen has several functions which include the filtration of germs and bacteria which may cause infection, storage for extra blood not needed and the removal of old or damaged blood cells, including platelets.

About Danazol

Danazol, sold as Danocrine and other brand names, is a medication used in the treatment of conditions, including ITP. Danazol is a synthetic steroid and pituitary gonadotropin (a hormone made by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus)  inhibitor.

About Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine is in a class of drugs called antimalarials. It works by killing the organisms that cause malaria. Hydroxychloroquine may work to treat rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and ITP by decreasing the activity of the immune system.

About Dapsone

Dapsone, a sulfone, belongs to the family of medicines called anti-infectives. Dapsone can be used as a second-line treatment in ITP can is also used to treat leprosy (Hansen’s disease) and to help control dermatitis herpetiformis, a skin problem.


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