Possible case of levofloxacin-induced thrombocytopenia

Salloum, Ralph; Liu, Chin Y.; Weise, Amy M.
January 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;1/1/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 1, p43
Academic Journal
Case Study
Purpose. A possible case of levofloxacin-induced thrombocytopenia is reported. Summary. A 73-year-old Caucasian woman with stage IV squamous cell cancer of the oral cavity arrived at the hospital with a 6-day history of epistaxis; petechiae over her arms, legs, and abdomen; and bruises over her forearms. Her comorbidities included hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease. Two weeks before arrival at the hospital, the patient had been admitted to the hospital with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and given a 10-day course of levofloxacin 500 mg daily, which she completed 4 days before this admission. Her platelet count was 7,000 cells/mm3 on admission. Her home medications included aspirin 325 mg daily, ranitidine 150 mg twice daily, alprazolam 0.25 mg daily, and methadone 10 mg twice daily. She last received cetuximab six weeks before this hospital admission. No other new medications were recently introduced. She had no known drug allergies and no recent heparin exposure. The patient was given a platelet transfusion and treated empirically with prednisone for possible immune thrombocytopenic purpura, though drug-induced thrombocytopenia (DIT) was also suspected. She was restarted on her home medications except for aspirin. She was discharged with a 7-day course of oral corticosteroids. At discharge, her platelet count was 38,000 cells/mm3. Corticosteroids were discontinued when DIT was established to be the most likely diagnosis. Conclusion. A 73-year-old woman with stage IV squamous cell cancer of the oral cavity developed a possible case of levofloxacin-induced thrombocytopenia after receiving the drug for 10 days for treatment of CAP.


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