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Prednisone effect on T cells
Aug 30, 2005

Hi, Dr. Conway, I would appreciate your advice: on prednisone for 4 months, my T cells have gone way up, CD4's well above normal and CD8's too. My WBC is at 6. Doesn't prednisone typically suppress T cells and cause high WBC's? Or is there a rebound of Lymphs and T cells when one tapers down prednisone to alternate day therapy? I'd appreciate your help in understanding this...I mean, my CD4's are 1,850 and CD8's 1,360 and this is weird! (they were trending higher before, while on prednisone).

Thank you very much

Response from Dr. Conway

Prednisone is a funny drug, that can often have contradictory effects as it has many non-specific and poorly understood effects. As reported in the medical literature in the past (J Infect Dis 2003;188:531-536), if it is given with IL-2 (a drug which causes significant increases in CD4 counts itself), it may blunt the rise in CD4 that would otherwise be expected.

However, if there is some inflammation or other process that is keeping the CD4 count down and you give prednisone, the CD4 count may then increase. In some ways, it actually depends on why you are taking the prednisone. If this condition is contributing to your CD4 count being lower, I would expect your CD4 count to rise on prednisone.

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