Filgrastim is a man-made version of a certain natural substance made in your body. It is used to help your body make more white blood cells. White blood cells are important to help you fight off infections. Filgrastim is given to people whose ability to make white blood cells is reduced (for instance, due to chemotherapy, chronic neutropenia, or exposure to large amounts of radiation). It is also used in certain treatment procedures (such as bone marrow/stem cell transplant).
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using filgrastim and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into a vein or under the skin, usually once a day or as directed by your doctor, until the proper blood counts are reached. Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to therapy. Use the exact amount of drug prescribed by your doctor. Too little drug may not protect you against infections. Too much drug may cause your body to make too many white blood cells.
If you are giving yourself injections at home, make sure you learn how to prepare and inject this medication properly. If you are injecting this drug under the skin, choose a new injection site each time you give yourself a dose. This will help prevent soreness. Never inject filgrastim into skin that is tender, red, bruised, and hard or has scars or stretch marks. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse any questions you may have about how to give yourself filgrastim. Learn how to properly dispose of used syringes, needles, and any unused medication. Never reuse needles or syringes.
Remove the medication from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you inject it to allow it to reach room temperature.
Avoid shaking this medication; doing so may make the drug ineffective.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
If you are receiving cancer chemotherapy, you should not be given filgrastim at the same time. You should receive filgrastim either before or after the chemotherapy, depending on your blood count results and your doctor's directions.
Aching or pain in the bones and muscles may occur. Taking a non-aspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen may help relieve pain. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Nosebleeds or injection site reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, lumps or bruising may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, bloody urine, bloody vomit, fast/irregular heartbeat, fever, purple or red spots on your skin.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: breathing problems (such as trouble breathing, fast breathing, shortness of breath), unusual decrease in urination, unusual tiredness, swelling/puffiness of the body.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using filgrastim, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to tbo-filgrastim or pegfilgrastim; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as dry natural rubber/latex in the needle cover on the prefilled syringe), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: sickle cell disease, spleen problems.
If you are scheduled to have radiation therapy, tell your doctor you are taking filgrastim. This medication should not be given during the time you are receiving radiation therapy.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Filgrastim is very similar to tbo-filgrastim and pegfilgrastim. Do not use tbo-filgrastim or pegfilgrastim while using filgrastim.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (e.g., bone tests such as bone imaging). Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication must be taken under close medical supervision so your blood counts can be monitored. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood and platelet counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze or leave out in direct sunlight. If this medication is left out of the refrigerator, it is only stable for up to 24 hours. Avoid shaking. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised May 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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