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Aplastic Anemia and malaria

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Old 08-04-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 4
Weazal HB User
Aplastic Anemia and malaria

Aplastic Anemia and malaria
Hi there,

My Girlfriend was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and we eventually got chemo treatment to restart her blood production. She is in recovery now (almost a year and a half) and has good blood levels (but still lower than normal).

My question is:
We are going to Mozambique for 10 days and are worried about her getting malaria and even more worried about the toxic malarial treatments to prevent getting it. Can certain malarial tablets and/ or malaria itself cause regression in aplastic anemia patients?

Any help would be much appreciated


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Old 08-04-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FL
Posts: 2,379
Re: Aplastic Anemia and malaria

Weazal--Welcome to that boards!

Sorry, but only a (your girlfriend's) doctor can answer these questions for you. Anything can compromise the body when there is a pre- existing problem. Hope you get some answers soon.
Take care. FLFG
Best of luck to you! FLFLOWERGIRL
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 51
ocelot HB User
Re: Aplastic Anemia and malaria

This is actually a very interesting question that I had to address indirectly in connection with treatment of my macrocytic anemia. My red cell count and hematocrit were low and falling and MCV was high and climbing. I had taken plaquenil for a number of years for an autoimmune disease and the hematologist thought it might be suppressing the red cell line and giving rise to the anemia. The rheum discontinued the Plaquenil and the hematologist has started me on B-12 shots and after three months it appears things are stabilizing. Myelodysplastic syndrome (i.e., aplastic anemia) is still in the differential.

Plaquenil (generic: hydroxychloroquine) is one of the front line antimalarials and, in addition to its anti-parasitic effects in malaria, acts to suppress inflammation in several ways, including at the nuclear level in the expression and transcription of some parts of the immature blood cell's DNA. There is one reported study on line in which patients taking Plaquenil were over-represented in the subject bone marrow transplant recipient cohort relative to the incidence of Plaquenil use in the general population. While the authors claimed the results were remarkable, the numbers of patients and findings involved in the study were too small to be statistically significant so it's not possible to draw firm conclusions from the report.

Be careful and be sure talk to your friend's hematologist on that one, and wish you both good luck.

Old 08-05-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cape Town, ZA
Posts: 4
Weazal HB User
Re: Aplastic Anemia and malaria

Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies and some useful info!
I know its quite a unique incidence and was taking a shot in the dark, hoping someone on these forums had been through the same situation.

We have decided; as it is winter and we are on the beach and it is a low risk area, we will not take antimalarials but rather rely on long clothing at night, mosquito nets, coils, spray etc.

We feel the risk of getting is far better than risking toxic medication to prevent.

Thanks again

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