Anemia is diagnosed based on a decrease in hemoglobin (Hgb) or red blood cell (RBC) count. Anemia is not a disease itself but reflects an underlying condition; therefore, it is important to identify the cause. Anemia is commonly encountered in clinical practice, and pharmacists can play an important role in assessment, treatment, and follow-up. Patients with anemia may be asymptomatic or have nonspecific signs and symptoms depending on the severity of anemia and duration of onset. Laboratory tests are essential in the diagnosis of anemia and should be evaluated in the context of the patient history and physical examination. Several medical conditions and medications, as well as dietary deficiency of iron, folate, and vitamin B12, can lead to the development of anemia. Anemia can be categorized as microcytic, normocytic, and macrocytic based on the mean corpuscular volume (MCV). This classification is useful in narrowing down potential causes of anemia and additional investigations that are needed. Management of anemia may include treating the underlying disease or replacement of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 deficiency.
KeywordsAnemia Evaluation Microcytic Normocytic Macrocytic Iron deficiency Vitamin B12 Folate Hemoglobin Management
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