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Low white blood cell count - epilepsy meds to blame?

(8 Posts)
MrsHende Tue 29-May-12 21:32:14

My DH has had a call from the gp this afternoon to say that a blood test they did last week has shown he has a low white blood cell count.

He has epilepsy. Could his anti-seizure medicine cause this result? Or is it more likely to be a separate issue?

Don't really want to consult Dr Google as I don't want to be freaked out unnecessarily but if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.


AnyoneforTurps Tue 29-May-12 22:10:03

Yes, anti-epileptics very commonly cause a low white cell count. Provided he is OK in other respects, they will probably just leave his meds unchanged for the moment and recheck the blood test in a week or so (might leave it a bit longer if it's only slightly low).

Also we often see slightly low WCCs in people for no obvious reason - we repeat the test and usually find it is back to normal.

In someone like your DH who is otherwise well (apart from the epilepsy), the WCC is very very unlikely to be anything to worry about.

MrsHende Tue 29-May-12 22:39:50

Thank you!

I knew Dr Mumsnet was a more sensible option than Dr Google.

He's been given an appointment in two weeks to get retested. Coincidentally he has an appointment with his consultant next week. Am I right to assume that he should mention this to the consultant?

Thanks again, I feel a lot better smile.

AnyoneforTurps Tue 29-May-12 22:48:20

Yes, worth telling the consultant but I suspect s/he will want to leave his medication unchanged for the moment (assuming it's controlling the fits) and see how things go with the WCC as this may well be a temporary blip.

Glad to be of help smile

careergirl Tue 29-May-12 23:56:07

I take Tegretol for epilepsy and my WBC are usually low. It is just monitored and as long I stay well they won't change my meds. I wouldn't worry too much.

MrsHende Wed 30-May-12 21:09:10

Thanks turps and careergirl.

He takes 5 different medicines for his epilepsy: keppra, sodium valporate, lamotrigine, zonegram and frissium. (spellings might be dodgy!) I guess we might just have to add this to the list of side effects!

MrsHende Wed 30-May-12 23:25:47

I've just shown this thread to my DH, he's wondering if you feel the effects of having a low WBC careergirl?

Do you get more infections and colds?

(He's suffered a lot since we got together, I'm a primary school teacher and I think I bring home quite a lot of germs! We now have a DD and she got a cold and he was floored with it too.)

Notsobadpharma Sat 26-Dec-15 15:21:50

I don't know if there is any point posting as it has been pointed out to me that this is an old thread, however I spent a year on keppra along with topamax.
Regards low white blood cell count - yeah I caught everything going.
I had ear infections, conjunctivitis, both multiple times coughs, yeast infections.
Valproate and topamax isn't such a bad combo or it could be not working with 68 kids and their infections a week grin

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