The causes of origin of leukocytosis can be summarized as: asthma, allergic attacks, cancer, tissue damage (e.g. burns), pain, taking drugs to treat depression, bacterial/viral/parasitic infections (especially pneumonia and chickenpox), inflammatory processes, leukemia (some variants), bone marrow diseases, emotional stress, autoimmune reactions, thrombocytopenia.
We speak of leukocytosis when the leukocyte values in the blood exceed the threshold value of 10,500 units per µl. Leukocytosis can trigger different symptoms depending on the severity, therefore on the triggering disease and on the leukocyte count: most of the time the affected patient complains of pain in the arms, high fever, weakness, difficulty concentrating, vision problems, loss of appetite, bruises, weight loss, bleeding, dizziness.
The information on Leukocytosis – Drugs for the Treatment of Leukocytosis is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and/or specialist before taking Leukocytosis – Medicines for the Treatment of Leukocytosis.
Leukocytosis does not always require specific pharmacological or medical treatment: often, as mentioned, the leukocyte count in the blood increases following an insult to the body, as a self-defense mechanism. However, when the leukocytosis reflects a much more serious condition, treatment becomes essential: the doctor, through an accurate diagnostic analysis, will identify the cause that lies at the origins of the leukocytosis; consequently, the intervention will be dependent on the triggering factor.
Let’s give an example: the intake of some medicinal specialties can favor an increase in leukocytes in the blood: in similar situations it is sufficient to suspend the drug and, possibly, replace it with another pharmacological specialty that exerts the same therapeutic effect.
Some patients with leukocytosis, however, require an intravenous infusion of fluids and electrolytes.
Below, the most used drugs in therapy are summarized:
- Antibiotics: to ward off the bacterium implicated in the infection, which is responsible, in turn, for altering the values of white blood cells in the blood.
- Antacids: indicated to reduce the acidity of urine during therapy for the treatment of leukocytosis
- Corticosteroids: Sometimes, therapy with steroid drugs is recommended due to their powerful anti-inflammatory effect. It should be remembered, however, that a similar treatment also helps to reduce the number of circulating leukocytes.
- Chemotherapy: some serious forms of leukocytosis are induced by leukemia, therefore, the administration of chemotherapy drugs aimed at killing the diseased cells is required, favoring the restoration of normal levels of leukocytes in the blood (for further information: read the article on drugs for leukemia treatment)
Among the therapeutic strategies alternative to drugs, blood transfusion and bone marrow transplant are the most accredited.
Below are the classes of drugs most used in therapy against leukocytosis, and some examples of pharmacological specialties; it is up to the doctor to choose the most suitable active ingredient and dosage for the patient, based on the severity of the disease, the patient’s state of health and his response to the treatment:
Antibiotic drugs for the treatment of bacterial-dependent infectious leukocytosis
- Penicillin or benzylpenicillin (e.g. Benzil B, Benzil P): to treat leukocytosis dependent on Streptococcus pyogene, it is recommended to take the drug at a dose of 2-8 million IU per day. The duration of therapy must be established by the doctor.
- Moxifloxacin (e.g. Vigamox, Avalox, Octegra): as an alternative to penicillin, to treat leukocytosis dependent on Streptococcus pyogene, take 400 mg of the drug per day.
- Cefotaxime (e.g. Cefotaxime, Aximad, Lirgosin, Lexor): the drug is a third generation cephalosporin, indicated to treat infections caused by E. coli also in the context of leukocytosis. As a guide, it is recommended to take 2 grams of active ingredient every 12 hours. It is recommended to combine therapy with a drug belonging to the aminoglycosides (e.g. tobramycin, at a dose of 3-5 mg/kg per day, in three equally divided administrations, intravenously or intramuscularly).
- Erythromycin (e.g. Erythrocin, Erythro L, Lauromycin): it is the drug of choice for the treatment of legionellosis: often, the disease also manifests itself with a modest or medium leukocytosis, treated with 500 mg of the drug, to be taken 4 times per day. The duration of therapy must be established by the doctor.
Medicines to quit smoking
Smokers suffering from leukocytosis should stop smoking: it seems that the high level of nicotine or catecholamines in the blood heavily affects the manifestation of neutrophilic leukocytosis.
For further information: read the article on drugs to quit smoking
Steroid drugs for the treatment of severe leukocytosis
When the alteration of the leukocyte count is particularly significant, it is necessary to take corticosteroids, which are very useful for restoring the white blood cell values in the blood.
Below are only some active ingredients and the most well-known specialties, without describing the dosage, which is always established by the doctor based on the severity of the leukocytosis.
Antacid drugs for leukocytosis
These drugs are NOT used in therapy to normalize plasma leukocyte levels; more precisely, antacids are used to lighten the symptoms that derive from a specific therapy for the treatment of leukocytosis. Many drugs taken, in fact, tend to increase the acidity of the urine; To resolve this problem, the administration of antacid drugs is recommended.