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Precautions

Are there drugs a person with a platelet function disorder should not take?

Yes. Certain common drugs affect how platelets work. Therefore, people with a platelet function disorder should avoid the following drugs unless specifically prescribed by their doctor:

  • aspirin (ASA) and other drugs containing aspirin (Alka-Selzer, Anacin, Aspirin, Bufferin, Dristan, Midol, 222, to name just a few)
  • blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like indomethacin, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • ticlopidine.


Other drugs including some antibiotics, heart drugs, antidepressants, anaesthetics and antihistamines can also affect platelet function.

Drugs containing acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) can be used for fever, headaches and minor aches and pains.

Do any foods interfere with platelet function?

Yes. Some foods or food additives may also interfere with platelet function. These include:

  • fish oils
  • Chinese black tree fungus
  • ajoene (a component of garlic)
  • alcohol
  • pineapple

What else can be done to prevent bleeding?

Preventive dental care can reduce the need for tooth extractions and dental surgery. Care includes:

  • regular tooth brushing
  • supplemental fluoride treatment
  • regular dental check-ups.


Babies should not be put to bed with bottles once their first teeth appear. Children should avoid snacks with lots of sugar.

The use of a helmet when skating, skate boarding, or riding a bike is recommended for everybody. Its use in people with a bleeding disorder is even more important.

Can a person with a platelet function disorder play sports?

Yes. It is important that all people with a platelet function disorder engage in regular exercise to keep their muscles and joints strong and their health good. Being in good physical condition can actually reduce the number of bleeding episodes a person has.

A person with a platelet function disorder will have to find out for himself / herself what physical activities he / she can or cannot do. Many people with mild forms of the disorder participate in all kinds of sports including contact sports like hockey and high risk sports like skiing. People with more severe forms may find these activities lead to serious bleeding.

Specialists at the Hemophilia / Bleeding Disorder Clinic can advise people of the risks based on an evaluation of each person's condition. (See the table Sports in the section Hemophilia A and B.)

Are there any vaccines a person with a platelet function disorder should take?

Yes, there are. Hepatitis B can still be transmitted by certain blood products. The vaccine against Hepatitis B is recommended for people who require blood products such as platelet transfusions for treatment of their platelet disorder.

In very rare cases, Hepatitis A has been transmitted by blood products. Therefore, doctors recommend vaccination against Hepatitis A for people who receive blood or blood products. This is especially important for people who are infected with Hepatitis C. This is because Hepatitis A can be a serious, even fatal, disease for people who have Hepatitis C.

What other precautions should a person with a platelet function disorder take?

Every person with a platelet function disorder should wear a Medic Alert bracelet. These bleeding disorders are not well-known and not easily diagnosed. In the case of an accident, the Medic Alert bracelet will be very helpful to medical personnel.