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Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

Definition

Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins is a lack of red blood cells that occurs when red blood cells are excessively damaged by certain chemicals or toxins.

Alternative Names

Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Possible substances that can cause hemolytic anemia include:

  • Anti-malaria drugs (quinine compounds)
  • Arsenic
  • Dapsone
  • Intravenous water infusion (not half-normal saline or normal saline)
  • Metals (chromium/chromates, platinum salts, nickel compounds, copper, lead, cis-platinum)
  • Nitrites
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Penicillin
  • Phenazopyridine (Pyridium)
  • Rho immune globulin (WinRho)
  • Ribavirin
  • Snake bites (some snake venom contains hemolytic toxins)
  • Sulfonamides
  • Sulfones

This list is not all-inclusive.

References

Schwartz RS. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 163.

Schrier SL, Price EA. Extrinsic nonimmune hemolytic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 48.


Review Date: 2/19/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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