Neutropenia - Treatments

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How is neutropenia treated?

Treatment of neutropenia is based upon the underlying cause, severity, and the presence of associated infections or symptoms as well as the overall health status of the patient. Obviously, treatment must also be directed toward any underlying disease process. Treatments that directly address neutropenia may include (note that all of these treatments may not be appropriate in a given setting):

  • antibiotic and/or antifungal medications to help fight infections;
  • administration of white blood cells growth factors (such as recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF, filgrastim) in some cases of severe neutropenia;
  • granulocyte transfusions; or
  • corticosteroid therapy or intravenous immune globulin for some cases of immune-mediated neutropenia.

Preventive measures may also be implemented in neutropenic patients to limit risk of infections. These measures might include strict attention to hand washing, use of private rooms, or in some cases, use of gloves, gowns, and/or face masks by caregivers.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Colleen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I was diagnosed with cyclical neutropenia after repeated abscesses under my arm and on my back, then strep throat. By this time the hematologist was having me do CBC blood work twice a week. I have never had chemo or cancer for that matter. So it is unclear as to why I got neutropenia. I am on weekly self-injected neupogen. It has helped with the infections. I stopped taking it for three weeks and manifested abscesses again. SO it looks like it may be a lifetime thing.

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Comment from: Sonia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I"ve had neutropenia for a number of years. The worst time for me is winter where I am sick with viruses for about 3 months on and off. My doctor and dietician have encouraged me to eat a healthy plant based, whole foods diet, as well as staying away from populated areas like shopping centers and schools over the colder months, getting plenty of rest and fluids and washing hands regularly. After 3 months on a plant based diet, I noticed the length and severity of the viruses shortened a little and I"m not as bed-ridden as I was. My red blood cell count (among other things) has also improved and I"m in the middle of the normal range for the first time in years. Another benefit of my diet change.

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