Thal Pals #5
Next episode to be posted: February 2, 2009
|What Is Hemoglobin H Disease?|
People with hemoglobin H disease, a form of alpha thalassemia, make less than the usual amount of alpha globin. This can cause anemia, which can vary from mild to severe. Many people with hemoglobin H disease do not have serious health problems and in many people, the anemia is mild enough that transfusions are not necessary.
Hemoglobin H-Constant Spring is a form of hemoglobin H disease in which the anemia may be more severe. (This is the form which affects Thuc, in the comic strip above.) Blood transfusions, either occasionally or regularly, are more common with this form of hemoglobin H; but again, not all individuals with hemoglobin H-Constant Spring require blood transfusions.
Certain medications and products can cause anemia to worsen for people with hemoglobin H disease. These include:
Sulfacetamide (eye drops)
Nalidixic acid (Negram)
Folic Acid Antagonists
Vitamin K analogues
Toluidine Blue (a dye)
Methylene Blue (a dye)
*Acetaminophen is safe as an alternative to aspirin.
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For episode 1, click here.
Funding for Thal Pals comes from an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.