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Filgrastim (Injection)

Filgrastim (fil-GRA-stim)

Helps your body make white blood cells. This will help prevent infections during cancer treatments (chemotherapy).

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to filgrastim or any other medicine made from E coli (Escherichia coli), such as pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into a vein.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Do not shake the medicine.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • If you use the prefilled syringe, make sure you know how to use the needle guard. After giving an injection, slide the needle guard forward over the needle until you hear a click. The needle guard will safely cover the used needle.
  • Each syringe or vial of medicine is good for only 1dose. Throw the syringe or vial away after your dose. Do not save unused medicine from an opened vial or syringe.

If a dose is missed:

  • It is important that you receive each dose of this medicine according to schedule. Call your doctor, pharmacist, treatment clinic, or home health caregiver for instructions if you miss a dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Leave the medicine in the carton until you are ready to use it. If the medicine is frozen, let it thaw out in the refrigerator before you use it. If the medicine becomes frozen a second time, do not use it.
  • You may let the medicine warm up to room temperature before you use it. The medicine can stay out of the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Discard any medicine that has been out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. Throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have bleeding problems, lung disease, or sickle cell disease . Tell your doctor if you had a problem with low numbers of blood cells before your current illness started, especially if you had neutropenia or thrombocytopenia (low numbers of platelets in your blood).
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have pain in the upper left part of your abdomen (stomach) or in your left shoulder. These could be symptoms of a serious side effect with the spleen.
  • Call your doctor right away if you develop fever, chest tightness, or trouble breathing, or if you cough up blood. This medicine sometimes causes lung and breathing problems, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and bleeding in the lungs.
  • If you think you have an infection, tell your doctor right away. Some signs of an infection are fever, chills, tiredness, weakness, or sore throat.
  • You should not receive this medicine within 24 hours (1 day) before or after chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber. The needle cover of the prefilled syringe contains dry natural rubber that is similar to latex.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Pain in your left side or shoulder, or feeling unusually full
  • Skin blisters or sores, red, blue, or purple spots or bumps on your skin
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiny red dots on the skin, especially on the lower legs
  • Trouble breathing, fast breathing, chest pain
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Pain, redness, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle was placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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