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).
This monograph is about the following filgrastim products: filgrastim, tbo-filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, and filgrastim-aafi.
How to use Filgrastim Solution
Read the Patient Information Leaflet and Instructions for Use if available from your pharmacist before you start using filgrastim and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Depending on your filgrastim product, this medication is injected under the skin or into a vein. Use as directed by your doctor, usually once a day. The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, lab tests, and response to treatment.
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package. Take the medication out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you inject it to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not shake the medication. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
If you are injecting this drug under the skin, first clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Do not inject filgrastim into skin that is bruised, tender, red, hard, or that has scars or stretch marks.
Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
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 use this medication within 24 hours before or 24 hours after chemotherapy. Ask your doctor for specific directions about when to use this medication.
Filgrastim Side Effects
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. Redness, swelling, itching, or bruising at the injection site 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, pink/bloody urine, bloody vomit, coughing up blood, fast heartbeat, fever, purple or red spots on your skin, back pain.
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.
Rarely, serious (possibly fatal) damage to the spleen may occur. Get medical help right away if you develop stomach/abdominal pain or shoulder pain.
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.
Before using filgrastim, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any filgrastim or pegfilgrastim products; 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: kidney disease, sickle cell disease, spleen problems, radiation treatment.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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 pegfilgrastim. Do not use a pegfilgrastim product while using a filgrastim product.
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as bone imaging tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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