In this condition, some white blood cells are partially or entirely removed from the blood circulation. This is extremely important, for these cells, called phagocytes, are vital to protecting the body against invading organisms. They simply devour invading germs and destroy them.

When the numbers of these cells (leucocytes) are reduced, the condition is called Leucopenia. When they are almost entirely missing, the condition is called agranulocytosis. It is now well-recognized that certain medicinal drugs may have this adverse effect on the blood, and today, doctors usually give such drugs only when essential, and then in minimum doses for minimum periods of time. They usually caution their patients to report immediately if there are any telltale symptoms.

A severe sore throat, elevated temperature and maybe hemorrhage, can occur. There may be an ulceration of the throat, the glands under the jaw becoming swollen and tender. It is essential that the offending drug be discontinued if there is an obvious relationship.