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low platelet count

Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2008

My husband has had only one chemo treatment of Taxotere in combination with prednisone and now his platelet count is too low for the next treatment. It was around 50,000 and the oncologist said they want it around 100,000 although I have read that some doctors use 50,000 as an acceptable level. Has anyone ever heard of a way to raise your platelet count without a transfusion? They won't do a transfusion unless his count is below 20,000. My husband was so disappointed that they wouldn't do the chemo treatment, he felt better after the one treatment. His PSA was up to 2,000. We lost a lot of time with the ketoconazole, it didn't work at all and it caused problems with his liver. They didn't check his PSA often enough to watch what was going on, now they are testing him every three weeks. One done on 2/9 was 1750, a slight decrease but a decrease just the same. He also had an appointment with his urologist on 2/12 and he prescribed nilutamide now. We hope that does something for him too.

Anybody heard from Nodawgs?


Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2009

My husband was on Taxatere - They had to give him platelets two bags to bring his count up high enough to continue treatment. Eventually (sorry my spelling is real bad) the Taxatere stopped working and is now on his 3rd line of chemo carboplatin - PSA has started to go up again. So not sure what is next.

Hope all is going O.K.


Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2008


How many treatments did your husband have before it stopped working? My husband has had two so far, next one scheduled for 3/19 if platelets are ok. Asked everyone about raising platelet count through diet or supplements. Can't do without transfusion. My husband is having trouble with red blood cells too. He has had to have two transfusions, two units each. Too bad they don't leave the platelets in the whole blood! He is also taking Nilutamide a new antiandrogen prescribed by his urologist last week. Between the two I hope it gives him some time. His PSA did go from 2,000 down to a little over 500. It made a big difference in his attitude.

Good luck to you and your husband.

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi- My Dad just had his 6th round of Taxotere. He gets an injection (neupogen?) 24 hours after his chemo and his has kept all of his blood counts up high. I don't know if you are already receiving this shot. If not, I would definately look into it. Have you had any problems with the chemo taste in your mouth? If so, have you found anything that helps? My Dad is having a terrible time with that and, of course, fatigue.

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2009

I understand that the preferred treatment to prevent low blood counts is the Neulasta injection, given 24 hours after the chemo infusion. I was very surprised when one of the chemo nurses mentioned that it costs about $6,000 per shot. Mine is apparently covered by my insurance and my oncologist uses it routinely.

Since then I checked the Internet and learned that Neulasta can cost from $3,000 to $7,000, with one report of it costing $10,000, and one mention that in Canada it costs $60.

Neulasta stimulates bone marrow production of red and white cells and platelets. My infusions are every three weeks and I go each week for a blood workup and each time my counts have been good or excellent.

About three days after the Neulasta shot I get bone pain for 2-3 days, mostly in the spine, but that was only a problem the first time, before the nurses said, "Oh yeah, it does that."

Neulasta is more convenient than neupogen because it stays in the system until the next chemo infusion, while neupogen has to be administered multiple times, meaning additional office visits or RN at home or training of a family member, and some insurance won't cover it except for doctor office administration. Neupogen is cheaper but requires multiples, so may cost about the same as Neulasta.

I have read that some insurance doesn't cover Neulasta, which I regard as criminal. But then I regard much of what the insurance industry does as criminal. Oh well.

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