Concept

Bone marrow suppression

Summary
Bone marrow suppression also known as myelotoxicity or myelosuppression, is the decrease in production of cells responsible for providing immunity (leukocytes), carrying oxygen (erythrocytes), and/or those responsible for normal blood clotting (thrombocytes). Bone marrow suppression is a serious side effect of chemotherapy and certain drugs affecting the immune system such as azathioprine. The risk is especially high in cytotoxic chemotherapy for leukemia. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), in some rare instances, may also cause bone marrow suppression. The decrease in blood cell counts does not occur right at the start of chemotherapy because the drugs do not destroy the cells already in the bloodstream (these are not dividing rapidly). Instead, the drugs affect new blood cells that are being made by the bone marrow. When myelosuppression is severe, it is called myeloablation. Many other drugs including common antibiotics may cause bone marrow suppression. Unlike chemoth
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