Acute antibiotically induced neutropenia: A systematic review of case reports

Julian M. Holz (Coresponding Author), Alon V. Chevtchenko, Aleksandra Aitullina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Acute neutropenia induced by antibiotics is a rare side effect of this frequently prescribed class of drugs. We aim to find similarities and differences between reported cases. Methods: Through a database search (PubMed, 1968–2020), we identified published case reports and extracted, among other data, patient demographics, duration of treatment with the respective agent, and duration of recovery. Results: Overall, 83 cases were included. Neutropenia developed after a median (min–max) of 21 (17.5–28.5) days of treatment and was resolved after a median (min–max) of 6 (3.0–8.75) days. Vancomycin and ceftaroline emerged as the two most commonly described antibiotics. In 51.8% of cases, the suspected antibiotic was discontinued; in 37.4% of cases, it was substituted by another agent. Only three case reports mentioned death as a result of neutropenia. The use of granulocyte colony-stimulating growth factors (CSFs) shortened the duration of neutropenia and improved outcome for patients' health. Conclusion: Neutropenia induced by antibiotics remains a rare or rarely reported side effect. Long-term and high-dose treatment regimens expose a higher risk of development. Thus, regular full blood counts are advised during therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1978-1984
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • agranulocytosis
  • antibiotics
  • drug-induced
  • neutropenia
  • side effect

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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