International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 902–904 | Cite as

Cefepime-associated thrombocytopenia in a critically ill patient

  • Phin Phin Lim
  • Chee Ping ChongEmail author
  • Noorizan Abdul Aziz
Case Report


Case: Cefepime-induced thrombocytopenia is a rare adverse event (incidence <1.0%), based on data from clinical trials. However, there is limited post-marketing surveillance documentation on thrombocytopenia associated with cefepime. We describe a 45-year-old male who was admitted to the intensive care unit after allegedly being hit by a large metal bar in the right upper chest and shoulder. Rhabdomyolysis secondary to the trauma, pneumothorax, acute renal failure, and nosocomial sepsis were subsequently diagnosed. Four days after intravenous cefepime initiation, the patient developed thrombocytopenia with platelet count dropping from 102 × 103/μL to 15 × 103/μL. Cefepime was discontinued and the platelet count normalized to 140 × 103/μL after 6 days. Use of the Naranjo adverse drug reaction probability scale indicated a possible relationship between the patient’s thrombocytopenia and cefepime therapy. Conclusion: Although cefepime-induced thrombocytopenia is rare, clinicians should be alert to this potential adverse effect among critically ill patients.


Adverse drug reaction Cefepime Clinical pharmacy Intensive care unit Thrombocytopenia 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest in connection with this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phin Phin Lim
    • 1
  • Chee Ping Chong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noorizan Abdul Aziz
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of PharmacyUniversiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)Bandar Puncak AlamMalaysia

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