6 doctors weighed in:

Why it is said that cephalosporins can cause hemolytic anemia?

6 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
Thank
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: They can, rarely

Like a lot of other medicines, cephalosporins do interact with the red cell membranes and occasionally produce new proteins that some folks make antibodies against.
Usually this is a non-problem ("Coombs positive") but occasionally enough red cells get damaged so there's actual hemolysis, anemia, and the systemic stuff from damaged red cells.

In brief: They can, rarely

Like a lot of other medicines, cephalosporins do interact with the red cell membranes and occasionally produce new proteins that some folks make antibodies against.
Usually this is a non-problem ("Coombs positive") but occasionally enough red cells get damaged so there's actual hemolysis, anemia, and the systemic stuff from damaged red cells.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
39 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors