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Pegfilgrastim (Injection)

Pegfilgrastim (peg-fil-GRA-stim)

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

Brand Name(s):

Neulasta

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to pegfilgrastim, or to any other medicine made from E. coli (Escherichia coli) protein such as filgrastim (Neupogen®). You should not use this medicine if it has been less than 24 hours (1 day) since you last received chemotherapy or radiation, or if your next chemotherapy treatment is fewer than 14 days (2 weeks) away.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin. This medicine is usually given as one injection during each of your chemotherapy treatment cycles.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do not shake the medicine. Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • 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 of medicine is good for only one dose. After using one dose of medicine, discard (throw away) the syringe and any leftover medicine. Do not save unused medicine from an opened 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 you accidentally freeze the medicine, let it thaw out in the refrigerator before you use it. If you accidentally freeze the medicine a second time, do not use it.
  • You may let the medicine warm up to room temperature before you use it. Keep it away from heat or direct light. The medicine can stay out of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Discard any medicine that has been out of the refrigerator for more than 48 hours.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to 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. Your doctor also needs to know about all other cancer treatments you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have sickle cell disease, or lung disease or breathing problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber (derivative of latex). The needle cover of the prefilled syringe contains dry natural rubber latex, which may cause an allergic reaction if you have a latex allergy.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you are having a pain in the upper left part of your abdomen or at the tip of the left shoulder. This could be a symptom of a serious side effect with the spleen.
  • This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, and throat; trouble breathing; or chest pain after you receive the medicine.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you develop fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, fast breathing, or wheezing. These could be symptoms of a serious lung condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Do not use the prefilled syringe for infants, children, or small adolescents who weigh less than 99 pounds (45 kilograms). The syringe contains too much medicine for a small person.
  • 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.

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
  • Blue lips or fingernails.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Pain in your left side or shoulder, or feeling unusually full.
  • Severe skin rash or sores.
  • Shortness of breath, or slow or shallow breathing.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

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

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Hair loss.
  • Headache.
  • Skin pain, redness, itching, or swelling where the shot was given.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

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: 4/4/2014

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