Generic Name: pegfilgrastim (PEG fil GRAS tim)Brand Names: Neulasta
Pegfilgrastim is a colony stimulating factor. It is a man-made form of a protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells called neutrophils in your body. White blood cells help your body fight against infection.
Pegfilgrastim is used to treat neutropenia, a lack of certain white blood cells caused by receiving cancer chemotherapy. It is used in people with cancers other than bone marrow cancer.
Pegfilgrastim may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before using pegfilgrastim, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have sickle cell disorder or are taking lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid).
Pegfilgrastim is usually given 24 hours after you receive a chemotherapy treatment. Pegfilgrastim should not be given within the 14 days leading up to your chemotherapy treatment, or within the 24 hours immediately following chemotherapy. Follow your doctor's instructions.Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as sudden or severe pain in your left upper stomach spreading up to your shoulder, rapid breathing or feeling short of breath, or any sign of infection such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, diarrhea, skin rash, redness or swelling of a skin wound, or white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.
Before using pegfilgrastim, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have sickle cell disorder. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use pegfilgrastim.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether pegfilgrastim passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Pegfilgrastim is given as an injection under the skin. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to inject your medicine 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.
Pegfilgrastim comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Pegfilgrastim is usually given 24 hours after you receive a chemotherapy treatment. Pegfilgrastim should not be given within the 14 days leading up to your chemotherapy treatment, or within the 24 hours immediately following chemotherapy. Follow your doctor's instructions.Do not shake the medication in its prefilled syringe. Vigorous shaking can ruin the medicine. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
A pegfilgrastim prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw the syringe away after using, even if there is still some medicine left inside. Do not use pegfilgrastim if the expiration date on the label has passed. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
To be sure pegfilgrastim is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Store this medication in the refrigerator and protect it from light. Do not allow the medication to freeze. If it is accidentally frozen, it can be thawed in the refrigerator and used at a later time. If the medicine freezes a second time, do not use it at all. You may allow the medication to reach room temperature for 48 hours before giving the injection. Protect the medication from light while it is out of the refrigerator. Throw away any pegfilgrastim that has been left out at room temperature for longer than 48 hours.
Contact your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of pegfilgrastim.
Symptoms of a pegfilgrastim overdose are not known.
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using pegfilgrastim.
Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
sudden or severe pain in your left upper stomach spreading up to your shoulder;
rapid breathing or feeling short of breath;
any sign of infection such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, diarrhea, skin rash, or redness or swelling of a skin wound;
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips; or
redness, swelling, bruising, itching, or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.
Less serious side effects may include:
muscle, joint, or bone pain;
temporary hair loss;
nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite;
changes in your sense of taste;
sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Neutropenia Associated with Chemotherapy:
6 mg subcutaneously once per chemotherapy cycle, beginning 24 to 72 hours after completion of chemotherapy
Usual Pediatric Dose for Neutropenia Associated with Chemotherapy:
Based on limited studies: 1 to 12 years old: 100 mcg/kg (maximum dose: 6 mg) once per chemotherapy cycle, beginning 24 to 72 hours after completion of chemotherapy13 to 18 years old and greater than 45 kg: 6 mg once per chemotherapy cycle, beginning 24 to 72 hours after completion of chemotherapy
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you also use lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, and others).
There may be other drugs that can interact with pegfilgrastim. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.