Infection from low white blood cell count
Preventative steps can be taken to reduce the risk of infections in multiple myeloma patients:
- Patients should be sure to receive flu and pneumonia vaccinations.
- Patients who have experienced serious recurrent infections may receive an intravenous antibody treatment (immunoglobulin IgG).
- Patients who are taking high-dose dexamethasone may be prescribed antifungal medications.
- Patients who are taking Velcade may be prescribed preventative herpes medications as Velcade may increase patient’s susceptibility to herpes.
- Patients who have low numbers of white blood cells, as a result of their disease or treatment (e.g., high dose chemotherapy or IMiDs), may receive medications called colony stimulating factors (Neupogen, Neulasta, or Leukine) to stimulate the production of infection-fighting white blood cells.
- Antibiotics or antifungal medications may be used to treat infections as needed.