[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 30, 1976

Aplastic Anemia From Veterinary Phenylbutazone

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology-Oncology, the Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1976;236(9):1049. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270100049030

PHENYLBUTAZONE is an effective and widely used anti-inflammatory agent in animals as well as man. We observed a patient in whom fatal aplastic anemia developed after taking phenylbutazone prepared for veterinary use in horses.

Report of a Case  A 20-year-old professional jockey was admitted to the hospital on Dec 16, 1975, with a two-week history of spontaneous bruising and listlessness. He admitted taking phenylbutazone in the form of crumbled 1-gm horse tablets about 20 times in the previous three years. One month before admission, he took 2 gm of horse phenylbutazone for more than three days for mild but painful injuries sustained in a fall. He was also taking furosemide, 40 mg/day, and occasional cathartics.Results of the physical examination showed pallor and widespread ecchymoses. The blood cell count showed a hemoglobin level of 5.6 gm/100 ml, a white blood cell count of 650/μl (18% neutrophils, 79% lymphocytes, and 3%