Low Platelet Count: What medications can cause this?

Patient

Q: I recently tried to donate blood plasma and during the exam, the nurse told me that I could not donate due to my red platelet count being too low. What does this mean and what should I do?

Doctor

A:   If you meant to say your platelet count is too low, it could be due to Naproxen. In fact, most anti-inflammatories (except Paracetamol) can cause a decrease in platelet count. This is a common side effect and could be reversible once Naproxen is discontinued. Platelets are cell fragments that play an important role in blood coagulation (clotting). Those with low platelets are not allowed to donate blood since the needle that will be used is huge and the blood may clot longer than usual, resulting to the donor losing more blood than expected. Do not discontinue the Naproxen unless your doctor approves of it. I do hope I have answered your question and take care always.

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