Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment of the symptoms and complications that occur with Noonan syndrome depends on their type and severity. Many of the health and physical issues associated with this syndrome are treated just the way they are in the general population.
The treatment approach that your doctor may recommend to address various aspects of Noonan syndrome may include:
- Heart treatment. Certain drugs may be effective in treating some kinds of heart problems. If there's a problem with your heart's valves, surgery may be necessary. Your doctor also may recommend that your heart function be evaluated periodically.
Treating low growth rate. Many children with Noonan syndrome don't grow at a normal rate. Your child's height should be measured three times a year until he or she is 3 years old, and then once every year until adulthood to make sure he or she is growing.
Noonan syndrome often causes eating difficulties, and your child may not be getting adequate nutrition.
Your doctor will likely be checking your child's blood chemistry, thyroid function, bone growth and hormone levels. If your child's growth hormone levels are insufficient, growth hormone therapy may be a treatment option.
Addressing learning disabilities. A wide range of mental and behavioral issues can occur with this condition. Fortunately, there are many successful ways of coping with what are usually mild symptoms.
If you discover early that your child has developmental delays, ask your doctor about infant stimulation programs. Physical and speech therapies may be helpful for addressing a variety of possible symptoms. In some cases special education or individualized teaching strategies may be appropriate.
- Vision treatments. Because vision problems are common with Noonan syndrome, your child will need eye exams at least every two years. Most eye issues can be treated with glasses alone. Surgery may be needed for some conditions, such as cataracts.
- Treatment for bleeding and bruising. If you or your child has a history of easy bruising or excessive bleeding, avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing products. In some cases, doctors may prescribe drugs that help the blood to clot.
Treatment for lymphatic problems. Although lymphatic problems are a less common symptom, the many ways in which they can occur can make finding the problem and then treating it a challenge. Complications usually involve excess fluid that gets stored in various places in your body.
Sometimes fluid can collect in the space around your heart and lungs. If this happens, your doctor may want to insert a tube into your chest to drain the fluid. To prevent this problem, your doctor may suggest you modify your diet. Sometimes surgery is necessary if swelling around the heart and lungs persists.
Treatment of genital and urinary tract problems. If your son has undescended testicles at birth, your doctor will likely refer you to an experienced surgeon to consider whether surgery is appropriate. It's best for your child to receive such treatment before he enters school.
Another common problem in males with Noonan syndrome is that their testicles don't function properly, in which case testosterone replacement may be an option.
If a urinary tract infection occurs, treatment includes antibiotics.
- Roberts AE, et al. Noonan syndrome. The Lancet. 2013;381:333.
- Chacko E, et al. Update on Turner and Noonan syndromes. Endocrinology Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2012;41:713.
- Noonan syndrome. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/noonan-syndrome. Accessed June 8, 2013.
- Learning about Noonan syndrome. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/pfv.cfm?pageID=25521674. Accessed June 8, 2013.
- Romano AA, et al. Noonan syndrome: Clinical features, diagnosis, and management guidelines. Pediatrics. 2010;126:745.
- Reye's syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reyes_syndrome/reyes_syndrome.htm. Accessed June 8, 2013.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2013.