Myelosuppression

 The most important thing you can do is be alert for signs of myelosuppression. If you notice these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.

Types of Myelosuppression

Possible signs and symptoms

What can be done?

Anemia – decrease in the number of red blood cells

  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Injections may be given to help boost the bone marrow production of red blood cells
  • Red blood cell transfusions might be required for severe anemia

Neutropenia – decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that fights infections

  • More frequent and/or serious infections or the recurrence of old viruses, like shingles
  • Fever; sore throat; rash; diarrhea; redness, pain or swelling around a wound
  • Chemotherapy might be delayed or the dose reduced
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed
  • Injections might be given to boost the bone marrow production of neutrophils (G-CSF)

Thrombocytopenia – decrease in the number of platelets

  • Increased bruising
  • Excessive bleeding from cuts, nosebleeds and bleeding gums
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, might be recommended
  • Platelet transfusion might be necessary in severe cases