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Why it is said that cephalosporins can cause hemolytic anemia?

4 doctors weighed in
Emily Lu
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Autoimmune reaction

Cephalosporins interact with red blood cell membranes.
The body can sometimes produce antibodies against cephalosporins that also interact with the surface of red blood cells. These antibodies thus activate the body's immune system to attack its own red blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia. This is a rare but severe side effect of cephalosporins.

In brief: Autoimmune reaction

Cephalosporins interact with red blood cell membranes.
The body can sometimes produce antibodies against cephalosporins that also interact with the surface of red blood cells. These antibodies thus activate the body's immune system to attack its own red blood cells, causing hemolytic anemia. This is a rare but severe side effect of cephalosporins.
Emily Lu
Emily Lu
Answer assisted by Emily Lu, Medical Student
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