Leukopenia is the medical term for having a low white cell count. This diagnosis means that you have too few disease fighting cells in your blood stream. A decrease in your white cell count is typically caused by a disruption in proper bone marrow function, cancer or an autoimmune illness. The treatment for a low white cell count is prescription medication. Neulasta, Neupogen and Leukine are the most commonly prescribed drugs for treating this condition.
Neulasta is an engineered protein that stimulates bone marrow and induces the production of white blood cells. Depending on the cause of your low blood count, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage of Neulasta and administer this medication to you via vaccine on a customised schedule. In order to ensure Neulasta's effectiveness, you will need to have your blood tested often so you can map the increase in your white cell count after each injection. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience side effects like difficulty breathing, skin rash, swelling or redness at the injection site.
Neupogen is comprised of E. coli bacteria with a colony-stimulating factor gene. In other words, Neupogen raises white cell count by stimulating the body to increase its natural protection mechanisms against infection. Like Neulasta, Neupogen is taken as an injection. It can be administered by a doctor or by you if you have experience self-injecting. Neupogen is injected daily for up to two weeks to promote white cell production and raise white cell count.
Leukine protects against infection while your white cell count is low and supports the increased production of new white cells. It comes in injection form and is especially effective for increasing white cell production in older patients. Leukine is less commonly prescribed than Neulasta and Neupogen because it contains concentrated amounts of yeast. Patients who have any sensitivity to yeast may suffer dangerous side effects from Leukine, including anaphylactic shock.