Generic Name: filgrastim (fil-GRA-stim)
Brand Name: Neupogen
Filgrastim is used for:
Decreasing the risk of infection in certain patients, including cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy. It is also used to raise the number of stem cells or to treat low white blood cell counts. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Filgrastim is a hematopoietic agent. It works by stimulating the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cells) by bone marrow.
Do NOT use filgrastim if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in filgrastim or to pegfilgrastim
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using filgrastim:
Some medical conditions may interact with filgrastim. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you think you may be pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- if you have leukemia, other blood disorders (eg, myelodysplastic syndrome), an infection of the blood or tissue, or sickle cell disease
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with filgrastim. However, no specific interactions with filgrastim are known at this time.
Ask your health care provider if filgrastim may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use filgrastim:
Use filgrastim as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with filgrastim. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Do not shake filgrastim. Shaking may damage filgrastim. If the vial or syringe has been shaken, the solution may appear foamy and should not be used.
- Filgrastim is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using filgrastim at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use filgrastim. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- If using at home, use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor.
- Before using filgrastim, take it out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Do not use filgrastim if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial or syringe is cracked or damaged.
- Use only disposable syringes and needles. Use the syringes and needles only once and dispose of them in a puncture-proof container as instructed by your health care provider.
- Choose a new site each time you inject filgrastim. Do not inject into an area that is tender, red, bruised, hard, swollen, or has scars or stretch marks.
- Discard any unused portion of medicine left in the vial or syringe.
- Continue to use filgrastim for the full course of treatment. Do not miss any doses.
- Filgrastim works best if it is used at the same time each day.
- If you use filgrastim because you also receive chemotherapy, the last dose of filgrastim should be used at least 24 hours before your next dose of chemotherapy.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of filgrastim, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use filgrastim.
Important safety information:
- Filgrastim may cause an allergic reaction (rash; hives; itching; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; dizziness; fainting; shortness of breath; wheezing; fast heartbeat; sudden increased sweating), usually within 30 minutes after receiving filgrastim. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction.
- Filgrastim may not prevent all infections. Contact your doctor right away if you develop signs of an infection (eg, fever; chills; rash; sore throat; diarrhea; pain, redness, or swelling around a cut or sore).
- You may experience bone or muscle aches while you use filgrastim. These symptoms can usually be relieved by a non-aspirin pain reliever (eg, acetaminophen).
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor. Some products have latex.
- Serious and sometimes fatal spleen problems (including spleen rupture) have been reported in patients using filgrastim. Contact your doctor right away if pain occurs in the left upper stomach area or left shoulder tip area.
- Some people with sickle cell disease have had times where the sickle cell disease has gotten worse when taking filgrastim. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Filgrastim may cause a serious and sometimes fatal problem called capillary leak syndrome (CLS). CLS may lead to low blood pressure and harm to the organs. It may also lead to bleeding or lower blood flow in the stomach or bowel, chest pain or pressure, confusion, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, kidney problems, lung or breathing problems, or swelling. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Filgrastim may interfere with certain lab tests, including bone imaging. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking filgrastim.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use filgrastim. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using filgrastim while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use filgrastim, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of filgrastim:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Back pain; bone or muscle pain or ache; cough; headache; joint pain; nausea.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in how much urine is passed; chest pain; coughing up blood; dark, tarry, or bloody stools; dizziness; fainting; fast breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; left shoulder tip pain; left upper stomach pain; lump, swelling, redness, or bruising at an injection site; purple spots or redness of your skin; severe or persistent headache; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; sudden increased sweating; swelling (eg, of your stomach); swelling or soreness of the mouth or tongue; unusual bruising or bleeding; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of filgrastim:
Store filgrastim in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. If accidentally frozen, allow the medicine to thaw in the refrigerator. If frozen more than once, the medicine should be thrown away. If filgrastim is left at room temperature for more than 24 hours, it should be discarded. Keep filgrastim out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about filgrastim, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Filgrastim is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take filgrastim or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about filgrastim. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to filgrastim. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using filgrastim.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about filgrastim
- Other brands: Neupogen