Hemoglobin M disease; Erythrocyte reductase deficiency; Generalized reductase deficiency
A medicine called methylene blue is used to treat persons with severe methemoglobinemia. Note: Methylene blue may be dangerous in patients who have or may be at risk for a blood disease called G6PD deficiency, and should not be used. If you or your child has G6PD deficiency, always tell your health care provider before receiving treatment.
Ascorbic acid may also be used to reduce the level of methemoglobin.
In most cases of mild acquired methemoglobinemia, no treatment is required. However, you should avoid the medicine or chemical that caused the problem. Severe cases may need treatment, such as a blood transfusion.
People with type 1 methemoglobinemia and hemoglobin M disease usually do well. Type 2 methemoglobinemia is much more serious, and usually causes death within the first few years of life.
People with acquired methemoglobinemia usually do very well once the drug, food, or chemical that caused the problem is identified and avoided.
Call your health care provider if you have a family history of methemoglobinemia and you develop symptoms of this disorder.
Call your health care provider or emergency services immediately if you have severe shortness of breath.
DeBaun MR, Vichinsky E. Hemoglobinopathies. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 462.
Gregg XT, Prchal JT. Red blood cell enzymopathies. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr., Shattil SS, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingston; 2008:chap 45.
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