Common name: Kulang sa dugo, anemik (Fil.); nakurangan ti dara (Ilocano)
Anemia occurs when the blood does not have enough red blood cells or when there is not enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen.
Women and people with chronic diseases are at increased risk of developing this condition. Severe anemia can cause low oxygen levels in vital organs such as the heart and can lead to arrhythmia.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Vitamins and iron supplements. Depending on the type and severity of anemia, these supplements are taken as a treatment and/or as prevention against anemia.
- Iron (ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate or ferrous gluconate) is an essential mineral for oxygen transport.
- Side-effects:Gastric irritation, stained teeth, and black/dark stools.
- Precaution: Avoid iron in cases of peptic ulcer disease, liver, and kidney disease.
- Drug Interaction: Iron salts affect the absorption of most drugs including antacids, ascorbic acid, chloramphenicol, cimetidine, quinolones and tetracyclines.
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is important in red blood cell (RBC) formation and for developing fetus during pregnancy.
- Contraindication: Folic acid should not be given with oral contraceptives, dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors and hydantoins.
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) reverses the production of abnormally large red blood cells.
- Precaution: It should be used with caution in Leber's disease.
- Drug Interaction: Do not take with colchicine and alcohol.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) used for preventing and treating pyridoxine deficiency) and the anemia that may ensue.
- Drug Interaction: Phenytoin, phenobarbital, levodopa.
Treatment and Management
A well-balanced diet that includes iron and vitamin B-complex is essential to developing and maintaining a satisfactory blood count. Anemia not responsive to iron and/or vitamin B therapy should be ruled out.