Neutropenia from Chemotherapy


Let’s take a minute to talk about your condition.

Neutropenia is when the body has a low number of a type of white blood cell called “neutrophils”. A healthy level of neutrophils is needed to fight infections. Neutrophils are made in the bone marrow. Sometimes, chemotherapy kills cells in the bone marrow. If this causes neutropenia, you are at increased risk for infection.

Neutropenia often happens 7 to 12 days after chemotherapy. Your doctor will follow you closely, and may prescribe medicine to boost your neutrophil count. Until your neutrophil count recovers, you should watch for infections and try to prevent them. Signs and symptoms of an infection that you should report to your doctor RIGHT AWAY include: a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit; chills or sweats; a cough or sore throat; a headache, and ear or sinus pain; a stiff or sore neck; diarrhea; a skin rash; sores or white coating in your mouth or on your tongue, and urine that is bloody, cloudy or painful to pass. You should also report swelling, redness or pain, especially around catheters.

You can help PREVENT infections by taking three steps recommended by the National Cancer Institute. First, wash your hands often, and ask others to do the same. Secondly, stay extra clean. This includes taking frequent care of your body, your teeth, and your surroundings. Lastly, avoid germs by staying away from crowds and by cooking and preparing food carefully.

For best results with neutropenia, work closely with your healthcare team, and always check with them before taking any medicine. Also, ask about free resources where you can learn more, like the National Cancer Institute.


Disclaimer - This information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to contact your physician, pharmacist or other health care provider for more information about this medication. By viewing these web site pages, you agree to our terms and conditions of use.