While this is not a common treatment for ITP, it is growing in popularity since there have been a number of studies linking ITP and Helicobacter pylori,1 a bacteria that infects more than 50% of the world's population2 and has been associated with ulcers. Many ITP specialists recommend that patients with ITP be tested for H. pylori since correcting the problem and possibly raising the platelet count is less costly and has fewer side effects than many of the other ITP treatments.
Other bacterial diseases such as those caused by ticks3 ( ex. Lyme diseease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis), leptospirosis4 (transmitted by the urine of infected animals) and more can also result in low platelets. Therefore it is important that the patient report all physical complaints to the hematologist as well as a history of animal bites or unusual animal contact.
Certain antiobiotics can lower platelet counts in some people. See the warnings page for more information:
1.Stasi R et al. “Effects of eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura: a systematic review.” Blood. 2009 Feb 5;113(6):1231-40 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18945961
2. Helicobacter Pylori Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori
3. Gayle A et al."Tick-borne Diseases." Am Fam Physician. 2001 Aug 1;64(3):461-467 http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010801/461.html
4. Nicodemo AC et al. “Thrombocytopenia and leptospirosis.” Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 1990 Jul-Aug;32(4):252-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2101519