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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17992
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have polycythemia vera treated with monthly phlebotomies

Customer Question

I have polycythemia vera treated with monthly phlebotomies since 1993. Now suddenly no longer producing enough red blood cells.Hemoglobin is 10 and falling. when should I start procrit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
What evaluation has been done for the anemia?
If blood tests have been done, could you share the results?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
I had asked for some further information and have not heard back.
The usual first step in management of anemia is identification of the underlying cause of the anemia. The Procrit is only used for certain types of anemia. So there should be further evaluation to assess for the cause, including tests for nutritional deficiencies, such as iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid levels. There also may need to be assessments of kidney or bone marrow function. Although you say that you are not producing red blood cells, it is also possible to become anemic because of increased destruction of red blood cells.
However, to address your primary question, if the evaluation shows a condition for which Procrit is indicated, the threshold at which it is recommended is if the hemoglobin is much below 10, with a goal of keeping the hemoglobin above 10.
If I can provide any further information, please let me know.