Antiphospholipid Syndrome, which is also known as Hughes Syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of the body produces antibodies that increase the chances of individuals developing blood clots. People with Antiphospholipid Syndrome are at an increased risk for developing DVTs, arterial thrombus which can cause a stroke, and even blood clots in the brain causing various problems like walking difficulties, vision problems, or memory loss.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome is normally an asymptomatic condition but some people complain of symptoms which are quite similar to that of multiple sclerosis.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome affects females the most, especially those in the reproductive age. This condition can cause frequent miscarriages, although the exact relationship between Antiphospholipid Syndrome and pregnancy is yet to be ascertained.
Can Antiphospholipid Syndrome be Cured?
As of now, there is no cure for Antiphospholipid Syndrome. However, there are medications which help in preventing any complications that can arise due to this condition. The main aim of providing treatment to people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome is to prevent formation of blood clots. The medicines also help in dissolving any existing clots that may have already formed because of Antiphospholipid Syndrome.
If Antiphospholipid Syndrome is caused due to a concomitant autoimmune disorder then treatment of that condition is also necessary to prevent worsening of Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Blood thinners are the most preferred way of preventing blood clots to form in people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome. These can be given orally or intravenously. Coumadin is the drug commonly used for treating Antiphospholipid Syndrome.
Some providers treat Antiphospholipid Syndrome with a combination of warfarin and heparin. Aspirin is yet another medication that people use to treat Antiphospholipid Syndrome. It should be noted here that treatment with blood thinners is long term and the patient may have to be on this medication for prolonged period of time. Over time, with constant use of blood thinners there is a side effect profile of easy bleeding. Thus people on long term blood thinners require frequent blood tests to check whether the blood is clotting normally or not.
For females with Antiphospholipid Syndrome who are pregnant, treatment consists of administration of heparin. Aspirin is only used on extremely low doses. Warfarin is not recommended for pregnant females with Antiphospholipid Syndrome as it may cause damage to the baby. These females also need extra care and are considered as high risk pregnancies.
These females are monitored with regular ultrasounds to check the overall growth of the baby. People with Antiphospholipid Syndrome also have a low platelet count. This condition is called thrombocytopenia. Treatment for this condition is also a must along with treatment for Antiphospholipid Syndrome.