View Full Version : Plaquenil causing low WBC count?

09-20-2012, 02:05 PM
I just saw the hematologist and after being on plaquenil for a week and a half my WBC count has dropped to 3.9. Is this a normal side effect? Does my dosage need to be adjusted?

Thank you!

09-20-2012, 02:22 PM
"blood disorders" are listed as a side effect, but I don't know if that means a lowered wbc. Infection & inflammation can affect the wbc also. I wouldn't think that a week & a half would do it though. The doseage is supposed to be based upon a combination of body height & mass. Shorter folks generally do 300, while taller folks do 400. Talk with your rheumy 'bout that. Why do you have a hematologist? I've got several issues with my blood. In fact, mine's so bad, the vampires come in for the bite, but leave without any. Non-nutritious... tic

09-20-2012, 02:36 PM
Thank you! It was actually my hematologist that led to the lupus diagnosis. During pregnancy I developed thrombocytopenia (low platelets). They thought it was HELLP and delivered my son prematurely. I followed up with my hematologist monthly and he was confused as to why my platelets weren't increasing. He ran an ANA and it went from there. Now they are saying it wasn't HELLP, but a lupus flare (odd because I felt nothing). I also have hereditary spherocytosis and just found out I have the anticardiolipin antibody as well.

09-20-2012, 02:38 PM
Oh, also I'm on 300 mg, but I don't really consider myself short. I'm 5'7". Maybe that's short enough?

09-20-2012, 03:57 PM
It took me 3 weeks to see a difference when I started taking my plaq. When I had my "reaction", and they did blood work on me, my platelet count was actually up from what it had been, though still a bit low. Lupus can definitely "eat" your blood, aka, destroy it early, or affect its production...

running girl
09-20-2012, 06:28 PM
I have low wbc. My rhuemy says its a symptom of lupus.

Good luck.

09-21-2012, 03:38 AM
when my lupus is flaring.....
my wbc drops also
i take plaquenil to help raise my wbc.

i suggest talking to your doctor again......
it is my understanding that plaquenil does not lower your count, only raise it.
this information was from my rhuemy.

09-21-2012, 02:40 PM
I am pretty sure I have low WBC count too and my rheumatologist calls that "normal for me". (Course, my brain is so foggy today that I am wondering if I have a high count, but no, pretty sure it is low).

Also plaquinil's effects are really slow building. It takes several months to get the full effect so that would seem strange to me. Good news is that your doctor is monitoring it.