Approximately 80% of adult patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) have treatment failure with corticosteroids or become dependent on them and require second-line therapy. Several new and effective therapies have been introduced during the past decade and our understanding of disease burden and its effect on quality of life has expanded. It is now recommended that splenectomy, the standard second-line therapy for decades, be delayed for at least 12 to 24 months, allowing for more patients to achieve remission on medical therapies before considering surgery. It is highly recommended that medical therapies be used that have abundant clinical trial evidence, such as the thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) rituximab and fostamatinib. Unfortunately, there are no reliable biomarkers that help in treatment selection. These therapeutic medical options have variable efficacy, safety profiles, mechanisms of action, and modes of administration. This enables and mandates an individualized approach to treatment, where patient involvement, preferences and values have become central to the process of choosing the appropriate therapy. Both TPO-RAs and fostamatinib are maintenance therapies, whereas rituximab is given for a limited number of doses. Although the response is usually maintained while receiving a TPO-RA or fostamatinib therapy, half of rituximab responders will no longer respond 1 to 2 years after administration and require retreatment or other therapy.

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