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Author Topic: Can immunosuppressants affect your CD4 cell count?  (Read 1689 times)

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Offline JamieD

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Can immunosuppressants affect your CD4 cell count?
« on: August 19, 2007, 03:40:10 PM »
Hey guys!
I have a question. Can immunosuppressant drugs affect your CD4 cell counts?

When I was dignosed with HIV and told my CD4 cells were 68 I had been on high doses of immunosupressants for over a year. My ID told me to stop taking them until I got my CD4 cells up. I recently did another viral load and CD4 cell count, and my doctor called me today (on sunday) and said that he wanted me to get them re-done. He said that they are very high, and that either these results are a mistake or the initial CD4 cell count of 68 was a mistake.
I have been reading through literature and it says that when a patient has their initial CD4 cells done they should have them done atleast twice to confirm the results. My ID did not do this, and when I asked him about it he said it wasn't necessary.

Offline penguin

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Re: Can immunosuppressants affect your CD4 cell count?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 06:25:22 PM »
in a word, yes (witness my spectacular cellular free fall to single digits, helped along by prednisalone/dexamethasone)

kinda does what it says on the tin - suppresses all the various components of yr immune system - of which cd4 cells are a part (lymphocyctes) This effect starts to reverse once you stop taking these types of drugs.

as to your other question.. i'm not clear on the background to you starting meds (or how long you've been on them) but yes, you'd usually want at least 2-3 sets of results in order to get a clearer picture of how the virus was impacting your immune system. Sometimes when people are very poorly though, it may be a case of making a quicker decision. CD4 tests have approx +/- 50cell margin either way - & there's always the possibility of proper lab error for results that seem way out of wack.

if your hivinfection is relatively recent, i'm sure you're aware that numbers can bounce around all over the place too - from very low to very high - as the body adjusts (hence the advantage of having several test results before making decisions)...so it may have been the combo of immuno suppressants & this contributed to a slightly "false" initial low cd4

either way, a retest should help to clarify things for you

(sorry, that were all a bit garbled..in my head it makes sense) - Kate


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