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Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

Definition

Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins is a lack of enough red blood cells due to the destruction of red blood cells triggered by exposure to certain chemicals or toxins.

Alternative Names

Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

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
  • Phenazopyridine (Pyridium)
  • Rho immune globulin (WinRho)
  • Ribavirin
  • Snake bites (some snake venom contains hemolytic toxins)
  • Sulfonamides
  • Sulfones

References

Schwartz RS. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 164.

Schrier SL, Price EA. Extrinsic nonimmune hemolytic anemias. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Shattil SS, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 48.


Review Date: 1/31/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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