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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Porphyria: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Endocrine Disorders


Porphyria | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

Treatment depends on the type of porphyria. Treatment of acute, or short term, intermittent porphyria includes intravenous fluids and glucose. Other treatments may include:

  • strong pain medications for abdominal pain.
  • hematin, an enzyme inhibitor that can help prevent or treat attacks
  • tranquilizers to reduce anxiety
  • medications such as beta-carotene to reduce light sensitivity and the effects of sunlight
  • a diet high in carbohydrates
  • surgery, such as a spleen removal to treat anemia
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Pain medications may cause stomach upset, irritability, and drowsiness. Surgery poses a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the disease?

    A person with porphyria may have relapses, in which the condition worsens and symptoms return.

    How is the disease monitored?

    The person is monitored for relapses. Blood and urine tests may also be used to monitor the levels of porphyrins in the blood and urine. Further treatment will be given when symptoms or attacks occur. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Porphyria: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Bill Harrison, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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