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Neumega (Subcutaneous)

Generic Name: oprelvekin (Subcutaneous route)


Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Neumega

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Hematopoietic

Pharmacologic Class: Interleukin

Uses For Neumega

Oprelvekin is a synthetic (man-made) version of a substance called interleukin-11. Naturally occurring interleukin-11 is produced by bone marrow cells in the body and helps to make platelets, which are necessary for proper clotting of blood. Oprelvekin is used to help prevent low platelet counts caused by treatment with some cancer medicines.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using Neumega

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Oprelvekin has caused joint and tendon problems in animals and there is a possibility it could also cause these effects in children receiving it. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.


This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure—May be worsened because oprelvekin causes the body to retain water
  • Atrial arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems)—This medicine may cause heart rhythm problems
  • Fluid build-up in the abdomen or lungs—May be worsened by oprelvekin
  • Myeloablative chemotherapy— May lead to serious side effects

Proper Use of Neumega

If you are injecting this medicine yourself, each package of oprelvekin will contain a patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:

  • How to prepare the injection.
  • Proper use of disposable syringes.
  • How to give the injection.
  • How long the injection is stable.

If you have any questions about any of this, check with your health care professional.

This medicine works best if it is given at the same time every day.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using Neumega

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Neumega Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

The side effects listed below include only those that might be caused by oprelvekin. To find out about other side effects that may be caused by the cancer medicines you are also receiving, see the information about those medicines.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Fast heartbeat
  • fluid retention
  • irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • white patches in mouth and/or on tongue
Less common
  • Bloody eye
  • blurred vision
  • severe redness and peeling of skin
Incidence not determined - —Observed during clinical practice with levofloxacin; estimates of frequency cannot be determined
  • bleeding
  • blistering
  • bloody urine
  • blurred vision
  • burning
  • change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • cloudy urine
  • coldness
  • cough
  • decrease or increase in amount of urine
  • difficulty swallowing
  • discoloration of skin
  • dizziness
  • fainting or lightheadedness
  • fast heartbeat
  • feeling of pressure
  • hives
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back/side pain
  • lumps
  • nausea
  • numbness
  • pain
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes face, lips or tongue
  • rash
  • redness
  • scarring
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • soreness
  • stinging
  • stomach pain;
  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • tightness in chest
  • tingling
  • troubled breathing
  • ulceration
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • warmth at site
  • weight gain
  • wheezing

This medicine may also cause the following side effect that your doctor will watch for:

More common
  • Heart rhythm problems

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Red eyes
  • weakness
Less common
  • Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • skin discoloration
  • skin rash at place of injection

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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