Non-chemotherapy drug-induced neutropenia - an update

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2017 Nov;16(11):1235-1242. doi: 10.1080/14740338.2017.1376645. Epub 2017 Sep 17.


To date, non-chemotherapy drug-induced severe neutropenia (neutrophil count of ≤0.5 x 109/L) also called idiosyncratic drug-induced agranulocytosis is little discussed in the literature. In the present paper, we report and discuss the clinical data and management of this rare disorder. Areas covered: To do this, we carried out a review of the literature using PubMed database of the US National Library of Medicine. We also used data from the American Society of Hematology educational books, textbooks of Hematology and Internal medicine, and information gleaned from international meetings. Expert opinion: Idiosyncratic agranulocytosis remains a potentially serious adverse event due to the frequency of severe sepsis with severe deep tissue infections (e.g., pneumonia), septicemia, and septic shock in approximately two-thirds of all hospitalized patients. In this context, several prognostic factors have been identified that may be helpful when identifying 'susceptible' patients. Old age (>65 years), septicemia or shock, renal failure, and a neutrophil count ≤0.1 × 109/L have been consensually accepted as poor prognostic factors. In our experience, modern management with pre-established procedures, intravenous broad-spectrum antibiotics and hematopoietic growth factors (particularly G-CSF) is likely to improve the prognosis. Thus with appropriate management, the mortality rate is currently between 5 to 10%.

Keywords: Drug; agranulocytosis; hematopoietic growth factor; idiosyncratic; neutropenia; non-chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Agranulocytosis / chemically induced*
  • Agranulocytosis / mortality
  • Agranulocytosis / therapy
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced*
  • Neutropenia / mortality
  • Neutropenia / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis / complications
  • Sepsis / epidemiology