So your red blood cells are low and your white blood cells? You must feeel like dirt. Neupogen (filgrastim) is used to help the bone marrow produce white blood cells. Procrit is the drug used to help produce red blood cells. I have never taken either, just up early and wanted to help.
I am on both procrit and neupogen for low red and white blood cell counts. They are not bad but the procrit takes a couple weeks to kick in. you are better off if your doc will prescribe them and you can get ins to pay for them. you really don't want to reduce your IFN and Riba drugs especially when these helpers will keep you at the level of virus killing drugs in your system.
Your doctor should NOT reduce you med dosages unless NOTHING else works. Reducing greatly hurts your chances of SVR. Ask him straight out why he won't give you Procrit and Neupogen?
I know anemia very well. I feel so very bad for you. Its horrible. The procrit took a while but it does work and you will feel better. Even though my HGB went down to 8.8 my dr would not lower dosage on my meds. I went to a hematologist because my liver dr did not administer rescue drugs. Hope you feel better soon.
Over my 10 months of attempting tx, I too experienced anemia, low RBC, and was on a higher dosage of Procrit than most people (100,000 U/SQ per week).
It does take time to work. Their product insert claims 2-6 weeks, for me it was about 3 weeks before I seen results from the initial introduction and all subsequent modification to my dosages. This is why most docs, at least the apparent knowledgable ones, watch the rate of change in the Hgb rather than specific numbers and thresholds.
My first doc made the mistake of simply reducing my Riba dosage, and although it may never be proven I believe compromised my entire tx, rather than introduce Procrit when I dropped from 13.5 to 10.5 in three weeks time at the start of tx.
For low WBC, Neupogen is used and I used that one too. Fortunately, Neupogen acts much faster, days instead of weeks, and as such it does not seem to be as crucial to watch the rate at which your WBC falls.
Hope this helps and my suggestion from personal experience is to avoid ANY reduction in Riba if you can help it.
You should call today to find out if he will rx Procrit and Neup. If he won't, then get an appt asap with a hematologist. My GI refused to rx them and finally decided to send me to a hemo. Problem was it took another month to get in and my Riba was reduced during that time.
Until I get my 6 mo pcr and it is clear, I will wonder. The most important time NOT to reduce tx drugs is during the first 12 weeks, if I understand correctly.
Be proactive now.