CLL Support Association
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SERIOUSLY sore throat!

Started Ibrutinib 2 weeks ago and developed a sore throat with fever last Saturday. Seen by Triage as per the protocol - sent home with 4 days of antibiotics, just in case, although there was no evidence of bacterial or viral infection. Temp rose overnight to 38.9, tremendous difficulty in swallowing, due to swollen throat. Temp has now subsided but my throat is still horrendously sore and swallowing extremely painful - to the point where I am not really eating, although drinking is okay, and actually helps. I'm seeing my consultant tomorrow, but my question is this: do Ibrutinib side effects get better??

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Are you suggesting that the ibrutinib is causing your issues?

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Really not sure to be honest, but given that they did loads of bloods and said there was no bacterial infection (and I think viral as well), and that sore throats are listed as possible side effects, I'm assuming it might be this. I'm hopeful my Consultant will be able to throw more light on it tomorrow, but I'm anxious to know whether side effects do disappear in time.

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I started on ibrutinib two years ago when I was Stage III CLL. Now my blood counts are all within normal range except for platelets, low at 100. Side effects I have had are fatigue, occasional sore muscles and occasional rash. I also have joint pain but not sure whether that is from the drug, I have bouts of goutr. Eczema-like blotch has just about gone away, Brittle fingernails much improved. Mental fogginess also better. Both my oncologist and I are pleased with the progress.

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I've been on Imbruvica nearly 20 months and have never heard sore throat or other cold type symptom as being a side effect. What I'm told is be very diligent if you experience any severe type cold or flu or upper respiratory issues and seek treatment promptly

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Thanks everyone. The Doc took one look at my throat and declared it a really nasty viral infection. Apparently they don't test for all viruses which was why my swab came back as negative for a viral infection. Learn something new every day! At least all is well with the Ibrutinib, thank goodness.

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I’m glad you got it diagnosed. Feel better!

Jeff

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Thanks.

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Dear Fulloflife - Did you have any upper respiratory symptoms before you got the sore throat? Any post-nasal drip? Important to review all systems before assuming it is caused by Ibrutinib. What is your Immunoglobulin G? You need to have it tested to see if you need IVIG. My hem/onc has all his blood cancer patients on sulfamethoxazole SS two pills 3 Times a week. Notwithstanding Imbruvica, I had chronic sore throats until placed on prophylactic antibiotics and also Acyclovir to prevent shingles, another highly prevalent issue with cancer patients. Hope you feel better soon. Sincerely, Carole

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Hi Carole - thanks for your concern. Luckily we have an amazing system at my hospital, so I was thoroughly checked out, all bloods etc and apart from the throat, things were fine. The only issue, which is under review, and I'll know the outcome next week, is that at the moment I don't have routine AB cover with the Ibrutinib as per the regime here, because I am allergic to the preferred one. My consultant is considering whether to give me an alternative or give me monthly injections. I'm already on prophylactic Aciclovir as I had shingles last November. I'm mostly better now, although the throat is still sore in places, but at least I can eat and drink again!

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