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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Neutropenia is a condition that causes you to have a low number of neutrophils in your blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell produced in the bone marrow. They help your body fight infection and bacteria. Neutropenia can develop if there is damage to your bone marrow or if your body uses or destroys neutrophils faster than they can be produced.
The following medicines may be ordered for you:
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Antifungal medicine helps kill fungus that can cause illness.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Ask your healthcare provider about these and other precautions you may need to prevent an infection:
- Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food, and after you use the bathroom.
- Bathe daily. If you shave, use an electric razor to prevent nicks in your skin.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush your teeth gently 2 times each day. Floss your teeth daily.
- Avoid crowds and anyone who may be sick.
- Avoid contact with animal saliva, urine, or waste. Have someone clean your cat's litter box, fish tank, or pick up after your dog.
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Cook meats and eggs thoroughly.
- Use stool softeners to help with constipation. Do not use suppositories or enemas. Constipation, suppositories, and enemas can cause a tear in your rectum. This allows germs to get in and can increase your risk for infection.
- Ask your healthcare provider if you should get the flu vaccine every fall.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have fever or chills.
- You have a new cough.
- You have a sore throat or a new mouth sore.
- You have redness or swelling any place on your body.
- You have pain in your abdomen or rectum.
- You have burning or pain when you urinate.
- You have diarrhea.
- You are more tired or forgetful than usual.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) for more than 1 hour.
- You have a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher once.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.