What are the treatment options for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?

Updated: Feb 19, 2019
  • Author: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Most individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency do not need treatment. However, they should be taught to avoid drugs and chemicals that can cause oxidant stress. Patients should also avoid broad beans (ie, fava beans). Favism occurs primarily in the Mediterranean variety of G6PD deficiency.

Identification and discontinuation of the precipitating agent is critical to manage hemolysis in patients with G6PD deficiency. Anemia should be treated with appropriate measures, recognizing that hemolysis is self-limited and often resolves in 8 to 14 days. Transfusions are rarely indicated. Splenectomy is usually ineffective.


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