Alert

Aplastic anemia

Aplastic anemia is a rare condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce blood cells normally. The production of just some blood cells (such as red blood cells only) may be affected, or the production of all types of blood cells may be decreased.

Symptoms of aplastic anemia include:

  • Fatigue, weakness, or lack of energy.
  • Headaches or breathing problems that occur after exercise.
  • Infections that keep returning or are more severe than usual.
  • Frequent nosebleeds or bleeding under the skin.

Causes of aplastic anemia can include:

  • Exposure to poisonous (toxic) chemicals.
  • Certain medicines, such as medicines taken to treat cancer.
  • Radiation treatments that destroy the bone marrow.
  • Certain viral infections.
  • Autoimmune disease.

Aplastic anemia sometimes develops for no known reason.

In some cases, a person may need blood transfusions until his or her bone marrow is able to produce blood cells. In other cases, a person may need a bone marrow transplant. If the cause is an autoimmune disease, medicines to reduce the damage to the bone marrow may be used.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Healthwise Symptom Checker Logo

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Top