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Avatar universal

Red cell count

I've been taking ribavirin and peginterferon since 03/09.  I experienced many side effects, most of which I was able to deal with.  In July I went to the Grand Caynon, 5000 feet higher than I live, and had to be rushed to emergency where I received 3 units of blood and an injection of white cells.  My counts were down to 1, for both.  Cutting my vacation short because of this, 2 days after returning home I began getting sores in my mouth and swelling.

Four weeks later I had to have another 2 units of blood.  Unfortunately, my count only increased by .2, from 7.5 to 7.7, still under the safe limit, so my doctor gave me a Procrit shot.  He said that the transfusions may not help in the future and I may have to have a Procrit injection each week.  Althought my count only went up slightly, I did feel better than before I had the transfusion.

If the transfusions are not something that I can now consider a remedy to increase my cell count, and if the Procrit does not work fast enough, what other choices are out there for me to consider?  

I have a job and family that need to maintain a normalcy around and it scares me when I start having the symptons of low cell count.  I am of no value when it begins.  Does anyone have any suggestions or, has anyone had to go through this and, if so, what was your remedy?

PJ
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Avatar universal
You can ask your doctor about reducing your dose of ribavarin.  I had to have transfusions, weekly procrit and a dose reduction to keep my blood counts from crashing completely.  

Hope you feel better soon.  Good luck.

jd
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Avatar universal
My doctor already reduced my ribavarin from 6 a day to 5.  I see him next week and just know he will probably reduce it again.  Unfortunately, I have a big fear of him taking me off the meds altogether.  Before the meds, my HepC count was 14 million.  After 3 months, it reduced to 185.  He was hesitant to keep me on the meds at that time, stating I should be at zero.  I don't know much about any of that but coming down almost to a zero is pretty darn good if you ask me.

Thank you for your info and good wishes

PJ
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Avatar universal
I dont know what geno type you have ,im assuming # 1 and all your stats i didnt see,but did you consider waiting for the newer PI drugs coming out very soon?Too be honest ,looks like you wont be able to go 72 weeks because if you didnt go UD  by week 12,its a long haul  by the way you are describing your TX alrteady and the odds are pretty slim to SVR.And there are the new Trials always coming up.
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You will have to go 72 weeks at least if you didn not clear at week 12 on the regular PEG/RIBA  mix.
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Avatar universal
In my first TX back in 2006,my VL was around 400,down from 25 million and i went 48 weeks and realpsed within 30 days after TX,you have to get the VL between <2 and <10 to be considered UD.even being at 75 or 100 still dont count as UD even tho it sounds like a big drop...its important to get it as close to zero before week 12 to get cured...now if you are geno 2 of 3 you have better odds
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Avatar universal
Just a thought...At week #10, I developed thyroiditis which accelerated my anemia...Once it was handled, the anemia stabilized and I was able to maintain a HCT of 26 and a HGB of 8.5-9.0 during the rest of treatment without rescue meds...if you haven't, have your thyroid levels checked to be sure this isn't adding to your anemia...~MM
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