Treatment

Treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) varies greatly from patient to patient and is nearly as unique as the individual who has been diagnosed.

Since APS creates an abnormal grouping of normal blood clotting elements (platelets), treatment is often directed toward preventing clotting by thinning the blood. Patients with this disorder have an abnormal tendency to form blood clots, which can in turn affect the function of almost any organ. Patients are usually prescribed medications that thin anticoagulate (or thin) the blood. These medications include such as heparin (Brand- Hep-Lock) and warfarin (Brand- Coumadin) or enoxaparin injection (Brand- Lovonox) and are known as blood thinners. Aspirin also has an affect on platelets that inhibits their grouping and has also been used in low doses to thin the blood of selected patients in conjunction with blood thinners. Steroids, such as prednisone, have been used to suppress nd inflammation in patients with certain features of the condition, such as inflammation in the lining of the lungs.

The benefits of blood thinners can be life saving in reducing the risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, but the problems include easy bruising, cuts or scrapes that take forever to stop bleeding, and trips to the doctor every two to four weeks (or more) to get blood tests to be sure your INR (determines blood clotting factors) is in a safe but effective range.

Antiphospholipid syndrome can also bring on a variety of other medical conditions that may require additional treatments.

There is no cure for APS currently.

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