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March 1971

Agranulocytosis, Leukopenia, and Psychotropic Drugs

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(3):265-267. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750090071010

The usefulness of a routine white blood cell count (WBC) in detecting a developing agranulocytosis is questionable. Routine WBCs may foster a false sense of security and lead a physician to discount other symptoms; on the other hand, not every WBC below 3,700/cu mm is cause for abandoning a helpful drug. We feel that the medical staff should be on the alert for evidence of infection in patients taking psychotropic drugs so that laboratory tests can be ordered if indicated by current symptoms or a history suggesting a high risk.