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White blood cell count 2.9

Good morning all.

Ive been takinh leflunomide for the past 6 months with no real issue and have slowly started feeling 'normal' again with little / managable pain.

This morning however Ive been told to stop the leflunomide as my WBC has dropped to 2.9.

Has anyone else been in this situation? Im dreading not taking the leflunomide and the daily agony to reappear. Does anyone know what is likely to happen now?

My previous experience of my rheumatology dept. Iis that everything takes months to get into motion and I genuinely dread tge prospect of the next fee months and feel like Im back to square one with the disease that I felt was under control :(

4 Replies

Hi Ian. This happened to me with Sulphasalazine. My WBC went down to 2 within weeks of taking it. I got a call to say stop taking it immediately and was so disappointed. A week later I had another blood test and my white cell count had shot up to near normal. I had a break from meds for a few months before going back onto Methotrexate (my first DMARD) which I'd abandoned due to hair loss. I've been OK on it this time round. I hope you get settled on something else soon. If you have pain while you're waiting, your Rheumy can give you a steroid injection to see you through. Angela.


Thanks for the reply :)

The trouble is, if I can no longer take leflunomide I may be running out of DMARD options as I have already had failed attempts for various reasons with methotrexate and sulfasalazine en :/


It is not the end of the road but will probably still take some time to find the right drug for you. You may qualify for the next stage if DMARD create problems. There is a criteria you have to fulfil but the biologic range of treatments may be your next option as part of that is having tried a number of DMARD's first together with a joint count. Personally I cannot tolerate DMARD's but had 7 years on Enbrel to good effect. Few issues since trying to find the right one but that is another story. There is information on the various drugs on the NRAS website some are infusions and others self inject. Farm


Hi Ian. My understanding is that you can be recommended for a biologic if you have failed on 2 DMARDS and your DAS score is high. I expect you will discuss all this at your next appointment. It's quite scary and a new chapter in your RA journey so I'm sure you are apprehensive - I would feel just the same. Hope you get sorted out soon Ian. Good luck. Angela.


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