Generic Name: pegfilgrastim (PEG fil GRAS tim)
Brand Name: Neulasta
What is pegfilgrastim?
Pegfilgrastim is a man-made form of a protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells in your body. White blood cells help your body fight against infection.
Pegfilgrastim is used to prevent neutropenia (a lack of certain white blood cells) that is caused by receiving chemotherapy.
Pegfilgrastim may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about pegfilgrastim?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pegfilgrastim?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to pegfilgrastim or filgrastim (Neupogen).
To make sure you can safely use pegfilgrastim, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
sickle cell disorder;
chronic myeloid leukemia;
myelodysplasia (also called "preleukemia"); or
a latex allergy.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of pegfilgrastim on the baby.
It is not known whether pegfilgrastim passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use pegfilgrastim?
Pegfilgrastim is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Pegfilgrastim is usually given once per chemotherapy cycle. This medication should not be given within 14 days before or 24 hours after you receive chemotherapy.
Do not shake the prefilled syringe. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
The Neulasta On-body Injector is a special device placed on the skin that delivers your pegfilgrastim dose at a specific time. Read and carefully follow all instructions for using this product. You will need to wear the device for 27 hours before the dose begins. The timed dose will then be released from the device slowly over a 45-minute period. While wearing the On-body Injector, you or a caregiver will need to check the device to make sure it is working properly.
Each prefilled syringe or On-body Injector is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
You may need frequent medical tests to help your doctor determine how long to treat you with pegfilgrastim.
Store this medicine in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Protect from light and do not shake.
Take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before injecting your dose. Do not leave the medicine at room temperature for longer than 48 hours.
Throw away any unused syringes after the expiration date on the label has passed.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of pegfilgrastim, or if you have a problem with the On-body Injector device.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using pegfilgrastim?
When using the On-body Injector: Avoid traveling, driving, or operating machinery while wearing the device.
Pegfilgrastim side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, skin rash, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); wheezing, difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
A rare but serious side effect of pegfilgrastim is called capillary leak syndrome. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of this condition, which may include: decreased urination, tiredness, dizziness or light-headed feeling, and sudden swelling, puffiness, or feeling of fullness.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
sudden or severe pain in your left upper stomach spreading up to your shoulder;
rapid breathing, feeling short of breath;
bruising, swelling, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected;
kidney problems--little or no urination, pink or dark urine, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or
low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough.
Common side effects may include:
bone pain, muscle aches;
pain in your arms or legs; or
pain and redness where the injection was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect pegfilgrastim?
Other drugs may interact with pegfilgrastim, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Neulasta (pegfilgrastim)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about pegfilgrastim.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: November 12, 2015