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Low platelet count with Nilotinib (Tasigna)

Hi there,

I have found this forum and thought some of you may be able to help.
About 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with CML. I was put straight on to Nilotininb (also called Tasigna) after my chemotherapy treatment . I have been on 300mg x 2 daily. However today's blood test showed that I have a low platelet count at 42, below the recommended minimum level of 50. As a result my doctor has taken me off Nilotininb until this Friday where they will check my blood again.

As it seems with CML, there are always ups and downs. I was just wondering if anyone has had the same issue and what treatment your doctors advised as a result. Did your platelet count increase after a period off the Nilotinib? Did you go on a decreased dose of Nilotinib following that and did that help?

Any experiences revolving around this would be of interest. Thanks and hopefully hear back from some of you.


Over shooting in common in first months. What was your blood numbers at Dx



Dav33,  I have the same problem, I was diagnosed in March, by July my platelet count was at 11.  Off Tasigna, it took 3 transfusions and 6 weeks before I attained 62.  Back on Tasigna for 3 wks and my platelets are back down to 30.  Are you still on this forum?  I just joined yesterrday.


hi, Dav,

Its quite common for using any of the TKIs.  For the first month on Glivec, I encounter the same problem (platelet down to 40), then I had to take one week break.  It will take a couple of months to return, but I still remain low platelet count around 100 even now.  Don't worry.



When were you first diagnosed with CML?  What dosage of Gleevec are you taking?  After my platelets plummeted after resuming my Tasigna at half dosage (150mg twice daily), my oncologist has taken me off Tasigna and prescribed Gleevec.  So I can expect  platelet problems with Gleevec also?  I know they are both TKI's.


I've never had a problem with platelet count while on Gleevec.   I've been on it since clinical trial and over 15 years and 400mgs till this past year when I went on to the DESTINY trial and went on to "half dose".

hi, Larry,

I was diagosed about 1 year ago, currently on 400mg Glivic.  Both my platelet and WBC were extremely low in the first 3 months, but after 3 months my accounts slowly recovered.  However, my WBC and platelet are still low than the normal range.  I suppose Tasigna is a stronger TKI, which kills cancer cell faster, and it would have stronger side effect on your blood.  As long as your platelet count is above 40, it should be OK my doc said.   


Hi Dav, firstly- welcome to this forum. Regarding your platelets... I think as the others have said, suppression of cell counts is a fairly common experience in the first months of treatment with TKIs. If you think about how this class of drug works then it is not surprising that one or other of the cells lines will be affected in some way. I am sure your counts will recover as your marrow is now in the position to produce more normal cells than previously. You may have to be patient though as with some people on TKI therapy their 'normal' range will be somewhat lower. When I was treated with imatinib (Glivec) my HGB was always between 10 and 11 which I found made me very tired. Since stopping TKI therapy (I eventually had to have a transplant) my HGB is always around 13 or 14 which makes the world of difference to my energy levels. 



Hi Sandy,

I have a similar experience where after about 3 months of Imatinib, my platelets dropped to about 30 and the doctor decided to take me off Imatinib. After almost a month of no medication, I recently started on Dasatinib. However, my platelets seem to be rising very slowly, reaching a peak of 60 and in the past week fell back to 48. I'm starting to get worried about this Do you have any advice?

Also, I've been trying out fasting recently as I learned that this could help with cell regeneration. Do you think fasting is beneficial?


Thank you!


I have been on 300mg twice daily of tasigna... And I have low platelet count after 1month of tasigna... But after taken off 1week it was normal... But again it goes to very low upto 22k with only 300mg per day... Now my platelet are 11000 so my Dr. Suggest stop the tasigna..and go with imitinib... But first will check bone marrow biopsy..

Please help me want to know more about it... I am getting confused 😕

I also had a low  platelets when I started with Tasigna but I took beet juice, wheat grass powder and vitamin B12 and I returned to normal quite quickly.