I am a bit concerned. I will be starting treatment soon with the new combo drug that will be approved. My wbc is 4.8
right now, and this is before i start tx. Has anyone had a decreased wbc going into tratment?
Linda, my WBCs were low going into treatment. In fact, my WBCs were low for 25+ years before I did treatment. Going into treatment, I think my WBCs were in the high 3 range but I had been as low as 2.2 before treatment. Even with having low WBCs going into treatment, my level never dropped "too" low; it hovered around 2.0 and dipped only slightly below that a couple of times.
It isn't your total white count (wbc) you need to be worried about.. It is your absolute neutrophil count (ANC). The neutrophils are a part of the white count. Hopefully they won't drop too low. There is a medication your doctor can use to raise those counts if needed.
My doc tells me my low wbc is not from hep c. I am F2 and he says this is mild fibrosis ad your wbc will be low ONLY if you have cirhossis or severe liver disease. I am treatment naive and will start tx when telaprevir is approved. My docs are not offering me any other explanation for decreased wbc between 4 and 4.8. I usually run around 6.0. I have been testing my blood every 3-4months and wbc continue to stay low. I am a medical technologist and have some knowledge of blood work results, but i don't know why my total wbc has dropped. Has anyone else had this problem with their white counts?
There are many reasons why WBC can drop a little,and most are of little concern. Fighting a cold,,excess stress.a small bacterial thing going on and many other benign reasons.
The normal ref. range as you know is 4 -11 for total WBC,and many people have constant levels in the 4"s. Mine has always been between 4 and 5. It did drop some while treating,,I believe it went down to about 2,however as Susie says,that is not really a concern. What they will watch for is a drop in your (ANC) absolute neutrophils. When this gets too low<500 (normal is 1800 -7000) it can be a concern of not being able to fight infection,and as Meakea says if this happens there is medication that will bring that level up.
People with autoimmune issues often have low levels of white blood cells. As you know, being in the field, you are not in any danger. You have enough white blood cells to fight an infection. Studies have even shown that low wbc from hep C treatment does not correlate with getting infections for some strange reason.
It would be a good plan to ask your dr. before you start tx about low blood count issues during tx - how low they will let them go, if they will use "rescue drugs" (Procrit, Neupogen) and at what point they would start them. And following on those lines, how often they will be running labs to monitor them. Helps to keep you ahead in the game.
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