Febrile Neutropenia

Febrile Neutropenia

Febrile neutropenia is a condition in which a person has a fever and a low level of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell involved in fighting infection.

Neutropenia can be caused by various medical conditions or by certain medications. It is most commonly seen in people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment, as well as in people with immune system-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS, certain autoimmune disorders, and bone marrow diseases.

When a person has febrile neutropenia, they are at increased risk for serious and potentially life-threatening infections because of the decreased ability of their immune system to fight off bacteria and other pathogens. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition, and seek medical attention when necessary.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of febrile neutropenia include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Less common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Joint pain
  • Headache


If your doctor suspects that you may have febrile neutropenia, they will likely order a blood test to measure your neutrophil count. If your count is low, they may order additional tests to determine the cause of the neutropenia.


Treatment for febrile neutropenia usually involves a combination of antibiotics and supportive care to help reduce the fever and manage any other symptoms. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure that the person receives the proper care and any necessary medications.


It is important to be aware of the risk factors for febrile neutropenia, and take steps to reduce your risk. These include avoiding people who have recently been diagnosed with an infection, washing your hands frequently, eating a healthy diet, and staying up to date on your vaccinations.

If you are receiving chemotherapy or other treatments that can cause neutropenia, your doctor may recommend medication or other therapies to help reduce your risk of developing this condition.