Leukopenia is the decreased concentration of white blood cells in the blood or leukocytes. When there is a lowered amount of white blood cells in the blood, there is a higher risk of contracting an infection. Thrombocytopenia can be seen in leukopenia cases and will need to be treated with steroids, vitamins, and immunosuppressants. Having leukopenia doesn't always mean a patient will also have thrombocytopenia, however. While having a low white blood cell count is not fatal in itself, it can lead to death if the patient catches an infection his body cannot fight. Lowered white blood cell counts can open the patient up to be a host to various parasitic diseases. The body, while fatigued and its immune system compromised, is in a fragile state.
What causes Leukopenia?
Leukopenia can be caused by medications or diseases that pose a danger to white blood cells.Examples arechemotherapy, radiation therapy, leukemia (as malignant cells overwhelm the bone marrow), myelofibrosis and aplastic anemia (failure of white and red cell creation, along with poor platelet production). In addition, many common medications can cause leukopenia (see below). HIV and AIDS are also a threat to white cells.
What are/is the treatment/s for Leukopenia?
Steroids and vitamins prescribed by doctors, cytokine therapy, chemotherapy and
in severe conditions, the patient may be prescribed a cocktail of drugs depending on the condition.
How do you prevent Leukopenia?
Medications which can cause leukopenia include clozapine, sirolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and cyclosporine. Interferons used to treat multiple sclerosis, like Rebif, Avonex, and Betaseron, can also cause leukopenia. The antidepressant and smoking addiction treatment drug Wellbutrin (Bupropion HCL) can also cause leukopenia with long-term use. Minocycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, is another drug known to cause leukopenia.There are also reports of leukopenia caused by Depakote (divalproex sodium or valproic acid), a drug used for epilepsy (seizures), mania (with bipolar disorder) and migraine. Increased white blood cell count may be present in cases of arsenic toxicity. To prevent getting Leukopenia, you may want to avoid taking this drugs.
Done by: Iskanadar, Nur Nadiah, Javin, Burnut, Gregory
Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/leukopenia.htm, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-leukopenia.htm and http://www.buzzle.com/articles/symptoms-and-treatment-of-leukopenia.html