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Talking to Your Doctor

What to tell your doctor

When being treated for ITP, you should always make sure your healthcare professional knows:

  • Your entire medical history, including other chronic health conditions you have
  • What medications you take and if you remember to take them
  • All over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking
  • The physical activities you participate in at work and in your leisure time
  • Any upcoming medical procedures (eg, dentistry, minor surgery, major surgery)
  • Previous or current ITP treatment-related side effects

A complete medical history is important because these conditions may affect your ITP treatment plan.

Always make sure your healthcare professional knows of any conditions you have now or have had previously. Think about issues such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, history of heart attack or stroke, peripheral arterial disease)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or C)
  • History of blood clots
  • Any other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus

A complete medical history is important because these conditions—and the treatments you receive for them—may affect your ITP treatment plan.

You should also tell your healthcare professional about the physical activities you participate in. One consideration for designing a treatment plan is how active you are.

What do patients with chronic ITP say?

With regard to what they most wanted from treatment, the following percentages of patients said these issues were extremely or very important1:

  • 86%: that a treatment has demonstrated safety and efficacy in clinical studies for the majority of ITP patients
  • 74%: treatment with minimal side effects (such as nausea, headaches, etc)
  • 65%: that an ITP treatment allows them to reduce their use of corticosteroids
  • Under 50%: how the treatment is administered (as a pill, injection, or through an IV), how often it is administered, and how easy it is to obtain

What to ask your doctor

Ask questions about your treatment plan until you feel comfortable that you have the facts you need. Some suggestions based on our survey of 581 patients:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • How does this treatment work to raise platelet counts?
  • How is this treatment administered (as a pill, injection, or through an IV)?
  • How often do I take this treatment?
  • How long will it be before I know whether this treatment is working?
  • Will this treatment allow me to reduce my use of corticosteroids?
  • How often do I have to get my platelet count checked?
  • What side effects could I have from this treatment?
  • Will there be any interactions with my current medications?
  • Does this treatment have demonstrated safety and efficacy in clinical trials for the majority of ITP patients?
  • Are there any symptoms or problems I might have during treatment that I should immediately tell you about?
  • How long will I need to stay on this treatment?
What do patients with chronic ITP say?

A survey of 581 people with ITP found that1:

  • 67% would prefer their physician to discuss multiple therapies with them and then decide together on a particular treatment.
  • 94% think it is important for their physician to review the side effects associated with taking a potential ITP treatment.

Click here to read about an FDA-approved treatment option for chronic ITP.Please note: if you click this link, you will
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Reference:

  1. Harris Interactive ITP Patient Survey Results. Data on file. Amgen Inc. December 16, 2008.