Skip to Content

Hemolytic Anemia


Hemolytic anemia

is a condition that causes your red blood cells to die sooner than normal. Your bone marrow cannot make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the cells that have died. Hemolytic anemia can be a short-term or long-term problem.

Common signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia:

  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Dizziness or trouble thinking clearly
  • Unusual shortness of breath when you exercise
  • A faster heartbeat than usual
  • Pale skin
  • Yellow skin and eyes, and dark urine

Call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have shortness of breath, even when you rest.
  • You have trouble thinking clearly.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever, muscle aches, a cough, or sore throat.
  • You have signs of infection, such as redness, pain, or swelling in any part of your body.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms.
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • You are dizzy or more tired than usual.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


will depend on what caused your hemolytic anemia. You may need any of the following:

  • Medicines may be given to help trigger your bone marrow to start making new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets are the sticky part of your blood that helps form clots to stop bleeding. You may also need medicines to help prevent your body from attacking its own bone marrow. This may help the bone marrow make more blood cells.
  • A blood transfusion may be needed to replace blood you have lost. You may need more than one transfusion.
  • Surgery may be used remove your spleen if it gets too large. Your spleen may get larger as it works harder to remove broken down red blood cells. As the spleen gets larger, even more cells are broken down.


  • Rest as much as possible. Hemolytic anemia can cause you to feel more tired than usual.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to be on a special diet.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink and which liquids are best for you. For most people, good liquids are water, juice, and milk.
  • Exercise as directed. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.