What is immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2019
  • Author: Michael A Silverman, MD, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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Most conventional treatments for ITP act by decreasing destruction of autoantibody-coated circulating platelets. In contrast, thrombopoietin mimetics increase platelet counts in persons with ITP by increasing the number of platelets produced and released by the bone marrow. Agents in this class include the thrombopoietin peptide mimetic romiplostim (Nplate) and the nonpeptide mimetic eltrombopag (Promacta). [91, 92]

Avatrombopag, an oral TPO agonist, was approved by the FDA in June 2019 for thrombocytopenia in adults with chronic ITP who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. [67]

Romiplostim was approved by the FDA in August 2008. It is a thrombopoiesis-stimulating protein Fc-peptide fusion protein ("peptibody") that increases platelet counts in patients with acute and chronic ITP without reports of significant toxicity. [93, 34, 94]

Eltrombopag is indicated for treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic ITP who have shown insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy. This drug was also approved by the FDA in 2008. [95, 96] In August 2015, the FDA expanded the indication for eltrombopag to include treatment of chronic ITP in patients 1 year of age and older who have not achieved an appropriate response with other medical therapy or splenectomy. [65]

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