G6PD Deficiency

G6PD deficiency is a condition in which the red blood cells lack a particular enzyme (Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase = G6PD). When exposed to chemicals in certain foods or drugs which are harmless to most people, these red cells can rapidly burst, leading to a severe anemia.

This condition is inherited, and is most common in people of hispanic or Mediterranean descent. It occurs sporadically in all ethnic groups, however. If your child is diagnosed with G6PD deficiency, all family members should be tested.

Individuals with this disorder are NORMAL, but they should avoid taking any of the following foods or drugs:

  • Aspirin (or anything containing aspirin such as many OTC cold/flu medications
  • Phenacetin
  • Anti-Malaria drugs (e.g. Primaquine)
  • Dimercaptol (BAL)
  • Darvon
  • Napthalene
  • Methylene blue
  • Phenothiazides
  • Probenicid
  • Sulfonamides (“Sulfa” antibiotics)
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Orinase
  • Furoxone
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Fava Bean
  • Vitamin C (only dangerous in large doses)

If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, please call.