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Leukine (Sargramostim Powder for Injection)

Generic Name: Sargramostim Powder for Injection (sar GRAM oh stim)
Brand Name: Leukine

Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018

Uses of Leukine:

  • It is used to lower the chance of getting an infection in people with bone marrow problems caused by chemo.
  • It is used to raise the number of white blood cells in certain patients.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Leukine?

  • If you have an allergy to sargramostim or any other part of Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) and for 2 weeks after your last dose.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Leukine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not get Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) at the same time or within 24 hours before or after chemo or radiation treatment. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause a very bad and sometimes deadly problem called capillary leak syndrome (CLS). CLS may lead to low blood pressure and harm to the body. It may also lead to a heartbeat that is not normal, chest pain or pressure, heart attack, lung or breathing problems, bleeding or lower blood flow in the stomach or bowel, kidney problems, swelling, or feeling confused. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine can cause infusion reactions. Low blood pressure, a fast heartbeat, flushing, passing out, and breathing problems have happened with the first dose of a cycle. Most of the time, these signs have gone away with treatment. They do not usually come back with other doses in the same cycle. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects during or soon after an infusion.
  • Some fluids used to mix Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) have benzyl alcohol. Do not give a product that has benzyl alcohol in it to a newborn or infant. It may cause very bad and sometimes deadly side effects. Talk with the doctor to see which fluids have benzyl alcohol.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection), call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Leukine) best taken?

Use Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
  • It may be given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • This medicine needs to be mixed before use. Follow how to mix as you were told by the doctor.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Do not shake the solution.
  • Wash your hands before and after you give the shot.
  • Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, or scarred.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low magnesium levels like mood changes, muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps or spasms, seizures, shakiness, not hungry, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Flushing.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed.

What are some other side effects of Leukine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Anxiety.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly pain.
  • Bone pain.
  • Joint pain.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Weight loss.
  • Throat irritation.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Leukine?

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Store in original container.
  • After mixing, be sure you know how long the product is good for and how to store it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Leukine (sargramostim powder for injection), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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