Humira and low WBC

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 7/1/2008 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
  I've been on Humira since January and my recent blood test showed that my wbc is really low (3.2).  My GI is sending me to a hematologist to make sure its the Humira and not something else.
Has anyone else experienced this or had to be taken off Humira for this reason?  Any advice is welcome. Thanks! tongue

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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 7/1/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   

A WBC Count of 3.2 isn't terribly low, although it sounds that way if you compare it to normal values.  I've run a WBC count of 3-4,000 all my adult life with no problems.  A few months after starting pentasa it dipped as low as 2.2 (not sure if pentasa was related to it or not)  My primary sent me to a hematologist who did a thorough workup without finding any explanation and told me not to worry about it. In his business if he sees a WBC over 2,000 he is overjoyed.  Apparently you don't get into serious trouble until it goes lower than that.  The rheumatologist started me on methotrexate knowing it was that low.  Strangely, after a prednisone trial it increased to 5.9

This doesn't mean I think you don't need to see a hematologist, just not to worry. I'm sorry, I can't answer your question about whether or not it is related to humira.   

10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin, sertraline, lyrica, 10mg prednisone, methotrexate    

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   Posted 7/1/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
One of the side effects of Humira is leukopenia. Leukopenia is low white blood count.

Are you on any other meds that can effect the white count, like Imuran, 6MP, or methotrexate?
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CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 7/2/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Ides,  No I'm not on any other meds.  I saw the Hemo dr today and he said he doesn't see anything so it must be the humira.  I now have to decide whether to stay on it and monitor the wbc or try something else.  I have had reactions to everything else though, so i don't know where i'll go from here.  I have no symptoms and i'm doing well, so maybe i'll try NO meds for awhile.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 158
   Posted 7/3/2008 5:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Same exact thing happened to me. I had been on Humira for about 4 or 5 months when my WBC count fell to about 3.0. MY GI sent me to a hemotologist and he ran some additional labs and talked to my GI. They decided to have me skip a dose of Humira then take it once every three weeks instead of twice monthly. Gradually, my WBC increased. I ended up going off of Humira after about 10 months total because I just wasn't seeing much of a benefit.

Another good thing about going to the hemotologist, he ordered an eight week course of IV iron. It made such a huge difference with my fatigue. Now, I have my iron checked every few months and I'll go for more iron if it gets low again.

Best of luck to you.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 7/6/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
hmmmmm- I have the opposite problem - mine is always elevated. doc. said this could be a sign my body is fighting infection or yet still from the inflammation.
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