Do steroids increase wbc

I showed this statement to a hematologist at my hospital. He helped me to see the ambiguity in the statement's wording. Then, the "light" finally came on. I was reading too much into the statment. What the paragraph is trying to say is that if a person is subjected to steroids, neutrophils will rise as a result of demargination. If an infection is then superimposed clinically, we would not be able to discern whether a WBC rise was from the initial steroids or from the infectious process. That's all they were trying to say.

Reports of oral overdose often indicate accidental daily administration instead of weekly (single or divided doses). Symptoms commonly reported following oral overdose include those symptoms and signs reported at pharmacologic doses, partially hematologic and gastrointestinal reaction. For example, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, pancytopenia, bone marrow suppression, mucositis, stomatitis, oral ulceration, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal ulceration, gastrointestinal bleeding. In some cases, no symptoms were reported. There have been reports of death following overdose. In these cases, events such as sepsis or septic shock, renal failure, and aplastic anemia were also reported.

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It is common for patients to reveal a leukocytosis (increased WBC count) within 24 hours of initiation of a glucocorticoid.  It is important for clinicians to be aware of this expected side effect and to understand the rationale for such an increase as well as appropriate interpretation of the labs given the patient's clinical condition.  Keeping all of these things in mind will help clinicians avoid unnecessary medical work-up for other conditions and avoid patient exposure to additional drug therapy that is not warranted, such as intravenous antibiotics.

References:

Do steroids increase wbc

do steroids increase wbc

It is common for patients to reveal a leukocytosis (increased WBC count) within 24 hours of initiation of a glucocorticoid.  It is important for clinicians to be aware of this expected side effect and to understand the rationale for such an increase as well as appropriate interpretation of the labs given the patient's clinical condition.  Keeping all of these things in mind will help clinicians avoid unnecessary medical work-up for other conditions and avoid patient exposure to additional drug therapy that is not warranted, such as intravenous antibiotics.

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