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Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins

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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.

Causes

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

Mentzer WC, Schrier ML. Extrinsic nonimmune hemolytic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 47.

Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 160.

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        Review Date: 1/19/2018

        Reviewed By: Richard LoCicero, MD, private practice specializing in hematology and medicaloncology, Longstreet Cancer Center, Gainesville, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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