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Myelosuppression

Myelosuppression, also known as bone marrow suppression and myelotoxicity is the decrease in cells responsible for carrying oxygen (red blood cells), providing immunity (white blood cells), and blood clotting (platelets). If it is particularly severe, it is called myeloablation. In people with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, the most common cause is severe side effects to thiopurine drugs such as Imuran, azathioprine or 6MP.

Symptoms of myelosuppression do not start right when the drugs are first taken because there are plenty of cells in the blood stream. The drugs affect new cells being made in the bone marrow.

Symptoms of Myselosuppression

  • Infections as the body doesn't produce enough leukocytes (white blood cells). Symptoms include: fever, chills, diarrhea, rashes, swelling/redness/areas warm to the touch on the body.
  • Anemia due to a lack of new red blood cells. Symptoms include: fatigue, increased heart rate, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, pale skin/lips/nail beds.
  • Lack of platelets causes: easy bruising, bleeding (often through the nose, gums, or mouth), tiny red spots on the skin (known as petechiae), blood in the stool, blood in the urine.

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