lowering INF is not the only way to fix low platelets...mild excersise is known to help raise platelet levels..
well, I don't believe I'm about to say this (since plasma is how I got this hcv I think) but if it gets any lower you could ask for plasma for the duration.
Now a days, they screen blood pretty well, and the chance of getting hiv or hcv from plasma is 1 in 600,000......so pretty drn rare. This does post some risk however.
I've heard liver docs get far less worried about low platelets than regular GI's treating this disease, because they see it so much more, and most folks hold up fine as Cman said.
It kinda depends what all your other conditions are...do you have a spleen for instance, if not then you in very HOT water since you have no reserve supply for injuries or bleed...heart condition, blood pressure issues, history of strokes etc....all those things and more play into when they will consider your case as "in the red".
I've never heard of them infusing anyone with plasma for this tx....but frankly I'm puzzled as to why not. It is a rich source of platelets and could help someone complete a course of chemo. I think one could make a case for it maybe, for stage 1 or 2 people, who have time for other options later (PI's etc) if the current SOC does not work.
The big downside, would be if you were already stage 3 or 4...and then, if treatment didn't work you'd be looking at a transplant. The reason they don't like to use blood products then is because other peoples blood, even though it's the same type, will produce antibodies in every one of us. The more antibodies you produce, the more likely you will reject a transplant later on. That's probably why we've never heard of it. Because they think everyone will need transplants. Yet with the newer drugs coming, the cure rate is 75% to 93% so that this old arguement may not hold water much longer.
(alagirl had many transfusions during tx...and she SVR'd)
On the other hand...if a person was stage 1 or 2, and 3/4 of the way through tx like you, I'd think it would be worth looking at. You could always cut bait and treat again with PI's
in another year...but I'm not a doctor, so don't quote me. I just think, if they go lower you should explore the option with your doctors maybe.
Under 50,000 is danger zone and will freak out your doctors. Makes you at risk for excessive bleeding because you're not making enough platelets to keep blood thick enough to keep it from oozing out (not a good explanation of platelets but the simplest I can make it).
The only way to fix low platelets is to reduce the amount of interferon in the weekly shot. That's not a major concern for you, since you've been on meds so long (over 7 mos.). The interferon should have your immune system running in pretty high gear by now and reducing it for a while until your platelet levels come back up again won't do any harm. I was dose reduced on interferon for 2/3 of TX. When platelet levels came back up, they always told me to increase the dose back to the original amount. In the meantime, try not to injure yourself so you won't be a big walking bruise.
I am on week 72 of tx and my platelets for the last year have been bouncing between 43 and 55. I agree with HCV James, avoid injury but my doctor has let me continue without reduction of meds and they have not dropped any lower than that.
Essentially Platelets are the glue that holds the blood together. Google it. Low platelets means thinner blood. 44 is very low, normal range is around 150-250.
Yes, avoid a serious cut, and definitely avoid head injury or any actions that might cause one. If either happens, call a doctor ASAP.
Try to stick in there, with so little time left to go it would be a shame not to complete if all possible.
What's your virus count?
All the best
i have heard of people going as low as 25. I would stay on the same meds monitoring bloodwork every week or two. If it was early in tx I would worry but not with a few months to go.
Be very careful not to cut yourself. It would be hard to stop bleeding with that low of platelets.
best of luck