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Zarxio

Generic Name: filgrastim (fil GRAS tim)
Brand Name: Neupogen, Neupogen SingleJect, Zarxio

Medically reviewed on March 6, 2018

What is filgrastim?

Filgrastim 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.

Filgrastim is used to treat neutropenia, a lack of certain white blood cells caused by cancer, bone marrow transplant, receiving chemotherapy, or by other conditions.

Filgrastim may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Filgrastim can cause your spleen to become enlarged and it could rupture (tear). Call your doctor right away if you have sudden or severe pain in your left upper stomach spreading up to your shoulder.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to filgrastim or pegfilgrastim, or to other medicines that contain the E. coli bacteria.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a blood cell disorder, such as sickle cell anemia;

  • kidney disease;

  • latex allergy; or

  • radiation treatment.

It is not known whether filgrastim will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

How should I use filgrastim?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Filgrastim is injected under the skin or as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give your first dose and may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Filgrastim should not be given within 24 hours before or 24 hours after you receive chemotherapy.

Filgrastim vials and prefilled syringes do not contain the same concentrations of this medicine. Do not give an injection unless you are trained in properly measuring your dose from either the vial or the prefilled syringe.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use filgrastim if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

You may need frequent medical tests to help your doctor determine how long to treat you with filgrastim.

Store filgrastim in the original container in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting your dose. Do not leave the medicine at room temperature for longer than 24 hours.

Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember, but not within the 24-hour period before or after chemotherapy. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

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 filgrastim?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Filgrastim side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, sweating; dizziness, fast heart rate; wheezing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Filgrastim can cause your spleen to become enlarged and it could rupture (tear). Call your doctor right away if you have sudden or severe pain in your left upper stomach spreading up to your shoulder.

Stop using filgrastim and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • rapid breathing or feeling short of breath;

  • capillary leak syndrome--sudden dizziness or light-headed feeling, tiredness, trouble breathing, swelling or puffiness and feeling full;

  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, blood in your urine, swelling in your face or ankles; or

  • signs of infection--fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, unusual weakness.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, cough, trouble breathing;

  • nosebleeds;

  • bone pain, muscle or joint pain;

  • diarrhea;

  • headache;

  • numbness; or

  • rash, thinning hair.

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 filgrastim?

Other drugs may affect filgrastim, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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

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