Q. Does taking Ibuprofen before blood work affect platelet count?

Answered by
Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 20, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

I had a hair transplant with 1500 grafts. That means about 3500 1 mm holes were made in my neck area (beard) and scalp and formed crusts and healed. Following my transplant (30 hours later), I had a normal white blood count but platelets were very low (60000), after one week my platelets were back to normal. I was also taking a lot of Ibuprofen at the time before my blood work. I have two questions: Can platelets go down because of wound healing? I have read that they have a lifespan of 10 days, is this a possibility or surgery or wound recovery will not produce this? Does taking Ibuprofen before blood work affect the count at all?



Welcome to

Hereby, I am giving you opinion regarding your case.

Platelet has seven to 10 days lifespan but it is produced from megakaryocytes continuously. Surgery or wound healing like in hair transplantation will not reduce platelet count. If following surgery infection occurred than temporary platelet count can be low. In your case, this cause seems most commonly.

In few patients, yes Ibuprofen overuse can affect platelet count temporarily.

But now your platelet count is within a limit so do not worry. Sometimes, viral infection also can temporarily decrease platelet count. Now no need to do a further investigation as the count is within the limit. Continue taking prescribed medication and shampoo.

For more information consult a hematologist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the response. At the time, I had a viral infection. I had taken PEP after a high risk (non-protected vaginal) HIV exposure one month before. I discontinued PEP after five days due to being very sick and having anemia on it. 10 days later, I came down with fever (no rash or other seroconversion symptoms) and never pain. My platelets were very low and that really scared me, I know during HIV primary infection they can go down drastically. I was sure I was infected.

However, I have taken five rapid tests at 30 days, 37 days, 40 days, 50 and 51 days after the last dose of PEP for antibodies and all have been negative. My girlfriend also took a lab test after being with me three times and P24 and AB negative.

Since then, I have been very anxious and depressed. I know no test is conclusive after three months, however, if my symptoms at the time were due to seroconversion I should have had antibodies by now. My question is, do platelets go back to normal levels that fast if a person is going through primary infection? Could my flu Ibuprofen cause such low platelets?



Welcome back to

After 51 days, if HIV antibodies form, then your report should be positive. But the chance of HIV is very less here because you have taken PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). PEP is very effective in preventing HIV. The only thing you have to do is repeat the test after three months of exposure just to exclude very rare possibility of HIV as mentioned by WHO guidelines. Viral flu and drugs are a common cause for low platelet count. Now, the count is normal so do not worry.

Repeat the HIV test after three months of exposure. No further workup is needed if CBC (complete blood count) is normal. Yoga, meditation and exercise will be helpful in relieving stress.

For more information consult a hematologist online -->

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