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Linezolid-induced pancytopenia
  1. Ross Leader1,2,
  2. James Hackett1,2,
  3. Anne Allan3,
  4. Paul Carter4
  1. 1Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2University of Liverpool School of Life Sciences, Liverpool, UK
  3. 3Acute Medicine, Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  4. 4Trauma and Orthopaedics, Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ross Leader, rossleader{at}


Linezolid is a bacteriostatic antibiotic of the Oxazolidinone class; it works by inhibiting the initiation of protein synthesis on bacterial ribosomes. Due to its excellent bioavailability after oral dosing, it has become an important tool in combating multi-drug-resistant bacteria including glycopeptide-resistant enterococci and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Side effects are multiple and potentially serious. We report the case of an 87-year-old man who developed pancytopenia secondary to a 6-week course of linezolid. Withdrawal of the antibiotic was decided as the treatment and resolution of the pancytopenia was evident within 2 weeks. Clinicians should be aware of this side effect of linezolid therapy and that weekly full blood count monitoring is paramount.

  • unwanted effects / adverse reactions
  • drug therapy related to surgery
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  • Contributors PC initially treated this patient. RL and AA were responsible for analysis and interpretation of this case. RL and JH were responsible for writing of the article. All authors were all responsible for revision of the article and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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