Antiphospholipid Syndrome - Effective Treatments

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How is antiphospholipid syndrome treated?

The treatment of patients with anticardiolipin syndrome has substantially evolved since cardiolipin antibodies were noted to be clinically important in the mid-1980s. Each manifestation of the antiphospholipid syndrome, and each individual patient with the condition, is treated uniquely.

Because many of the features of illness with anticardiolipin syndrome are associated with 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 a tendency to form blood clots (thrombosis). The unwanted blood clotting can affect the function of virtually any organ. Medications that thin (anticoagulate) the blood, such as heparin (Hep-Lock, Liquaemin, Lovenox) and warfarin (Coumadin), are powerful blood thinners that are used for treatment. Aspirin has an effect on platelets that inhibits their grouping (aggregation) and has also been used in low doses to thin the blood of selected patients with less severe disease. Cortisone-related medications, such as prednisone, have been used to suppress the immune activity and inflammation in patients with certain features of the condition. For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus who also have antiphospholipid syndrome, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) has been reported to add some protection against blood clotting.

Other reported treatments include the use of intravenous gamma globulin for selected patients with histories of premature miscarriage and those with low blood-clotting elements (platelets) during pregnancy. Recent research studies, however, suggest that intravenous gamma globulin may be no more effective than a combination of aspirin and heparin.

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Comment from: Martha, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have been diagnosed with Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome since over 10 years back. I am required to be put in the hospital and put on heparin which I believe has been the best medication until I return to a 3.0 to 4.0 INR. It usually takes 10 to 14 days in the hospital to achieve this point.

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Comment from: Nancy, Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I was diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) in the mid-80s, when my babies were dying at about 5 months. I lost a total of 4 babies. It was the hardest thing I ever went through. I was positive for the anti-cardiolipin antibody, but they did not know much about antiphospholipid syndrome then. We adopted 2 children and I have been working on changing my life style to reduce symptoms ever since. My lab tests now are all normal, including a negative ANA! But my doctor said the cardiolipin antibody does not go away, so no need to test it again. She also said that I should take a baby aspirin just because of its presence. I used to have painful joints all the time. Now I have no pain at all and perfect lab test results. This is what I do: no animal products, lots of greens, nuts and seeds, lots of supplements (vitamins, probiotics and enzymes), lots of exercise, stress management, lots of fiber (chia seeds and flax seed), and lots of alkaline fluids (green tea).

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