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Can clindamycin cause neutropenia? I am a year out from very strong chemo for breast cancer. My counts were better in February. But now my neutrophils are .8 and my lymphocytes are .7. My red count and platelets are really good.

My oncologist is not worried. But I am. Then I read somewhere that antibiotics can cause neutropenia. I was on clindamycin for 30 days (for cellulitis of the radiated area). So my question is: have you also heard that clindamycin can cause neutropenia?

I guess another question would be, do you know of patients (who don't have some terrible thing like aleukemia or mds) that have such a low neutrophil count (.8) almost a year from chemotherapy?  I have heard that some oncologists say counts can be low for 5 years.  But, .8 seems too low for that. 

Thank you.

Category: Oncologist

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Category: Hematologist
Dr. Prasad Eswaran is online now

Expert:  Dr. Prasad Eswaran replied 4 Days.

Yes. some antibiotics do cause decreased counts but will recover eventually. I hope i had earlier suggested you to do exercise and have well balanced hygenic food to improve your immunity. Are you following it ??

Patient replied :

Thank you. Yes, I have been doing lots of exercise, and eating right.
Do you know of patients whose counts stay around .8 for a long time (maybe years) after chemo--but don't go below the .5 cutoff for severe neutropenia??? I am really worried that my count will fall farther to .5 since it was 1.8 in April, 1.0 in May and .8 in July. (I finished chemo 1 year ago). I feel like it is going to just keep falling. How likely is this??
AND I had heard it was rare for an antibiotic to cause neutropenia--is this true?

Expert:  Dr. Prasad Eswaran replied 3 Days.

Sometimes it stays on the lower side for one or two patients... But it may recover eventually, but slowly. Continue your exercise and a good balanced diet.

Dr. Prasad Eswaran
Category: Hematologist
Doctorate in Medicine (Fellowship in Oncology), DM,  Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India.

Doctor of Medicine (Residency in Radiation Oncology) , MD, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India, 2004-06.

Diploma in Medical Radiology & Therapy (Residency in Radiation Oncology), D.M.R.T, Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India, 2004-06.

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery - M.B.B.S, Govt. Stanley Medical College & Hospital, Chennai, India, 1998-2004.
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