BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuGlucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiencyG6PD deficiency; Hemolytic anemia due to G6PD deficiency; Anemia - hemolytic due to G6PD deficiencyGlucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a condition in which red blood cells break down when the body is exposed to certain drugs or the stress of infection. It is hereditary, which means it is passed down in families. Causes G6PD deficiency occurs when a person is missing or does not have enough of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This enzyme helps red blood cells work properly.Too little G6PD leads to the destruction of red blood cells. This process is called hemolysis. When this process is actively occurring, it is called a hemolytic episode. The episodes are most often brief. This is because the body continues to produce new red blood cells, which have normal activity.Red blood cell destruction can be triggered by infections, certain foods (such as fava beans), and certain medicines, including:Antimalarial medicines such as quinine Aspirin (high doses) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Quinidine Sulfa drugs Antibiotics such as quinolones, nitrofurantoinOther chemicals, such as those in mothballs, can also trigger an episode.In the United States, G6PD deficiency is more common among blacks than whites. Men are more likely to have this disorder than women.You are more likely to develop this condition if you:Are African American Are of Middle Eastern decent, particularly Kurdish or Sephardic Jewish Are male Have a family history of the deficiency A form of this disorder is common in whites of Mediterranean descent. This form is also associated with acute episodes of hemolysis. Episodes are longer and more severe than in the other types of the disorder. Symptoms People with this condition do not display any signs of the disease until their red blood cells are exposed to certain chemicals in food or medicine.Symptoms are more common in men and may include:Dark urine Dark urineThe usual color of urine is straw-yellow. Abnormally-colored urine may be cloudy, dark, or blood-colored.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Fever Pain in abdomen Enlarged spleen and liver Enlarged spleenSplenomegaly is a larger-than-normal spleen. The spleen is an organ in the upper left part of the belly.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Fatigue FatigueFatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pallor PallorPaleness is an abnormal loss of color from normal skin or mucous membranes.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Rapid heart rate Rapid heart rateA bounding pulse is a strong throbbing felt over one of the arteries in the body. It is due to a forceful heartbeat.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Shortness of breath Shortness of breathBreathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Yellow skin color (jaundice) JaundiceJaundice is a yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow coloring comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jau...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Exams and Tests A blood test can be done to check the level of G6PD.Level of G6PDGlucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is a protein that helps red blood cells work properly. The G6PD test looks at the amount (activity) of this...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Other tests that may be done include:Bilirubin level Bilirubin levelThe bilirubin blood test measures the level of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. Bi...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Complete blood count Complete blood countA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hemoglobin - urine Hemoglobin - urineHemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The hemoglobin test measures how much hemoglobin is in your blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Haptoglobin level Haptoglobin levelThe haptoglobin blood test measures the level of haptoglobin in your blood. Haptoglobin is a protein produced by the liver. It attaches to a certain...Read Article Now Book Mark Article LDH test LDH testLactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a protein that helps produce energy in the body. An LDH test measures the amount of LDH in the blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Methemoglobin reduction test Methemoglobin reductionHemoglobin derivatives are altered forms of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that moves oxygen and carbon dioxide between the ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Reticulocyte countReticulocyte countReticulocytes are slightly immature red blood cells. A reticulocyte count is a blood test that measures the amount of these cells in the blood....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Treatment may involve:Medicines to treat an infection, if present Stopping any drugs that are causing red blood cell destruction Transfusions, in some cases Outlook (Prognosis) In most cases, hemolytic episodes go away on their own. Possible Complications In rare case, kidney failure or death may occur following a severe hemolytic event. When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition.Call your provider if you have been diagnosed with G6PD deficiency and symptoms do not disappear after treatment. Prevention People with G6PD deficiency must strictly avoid things that can trigger an episode. Talk to your provider about your medicines.Genetic counseling or testing may be available to those who have a family history of the condition.Open ReferencesReferencesGregg XT, Prchal JT. Red blood cell enzymopathies. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 44.Lissauer T, Carroll W. Haematological disorders. In: Lissauer T, Carroll W, eds. Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 23.Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 151.AllVideoImagesTogBlood cells - illustration Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.Blood cellsillustrationBlood cells - illustration Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.Blood cellsillustration Tests for Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase testNewborn screening testsRelated Information Enzyme(Special Topic)Anemia(Condition)Acute(Special Topic)Chronic(Special Topic)Hemolytic anemia(Condition)Hereditary spherocytic anemia(Condition)Newborn screening tests(Medical Test)Anemia(In-Depth) Review Date: 2/6/2020 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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