In Thalassemia major, treatment may include: frequent (every 3-4 weeks) transfusion; when iron build up occurs, Desferal treatment is added. This treatment is one that is used for patients who have simultaneous anemia and iron loading conditions. Desferal is administered subcutaneously (under the skin) from a small battery operated pump about the size of a portable cassette tape player.
Bone marrow transplantation may be considered but it is expensive and a suitable donor must be identified. Cord blood transplant is presently being done experimentally in China.
In Thalassemia Minor and Thalassemia Intermedia there is no treatment when asymptomatic. If the spleen is inflamed, splenectomy may be required.