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All about: Neulasta

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Generic Name: Pegfilgrastim (peg-fil-GRAS-tim)
Brand Name: Neulasta

Neulasta is used for:

Decreasing the incidence of infection in certain cancer patients undergoing myelosuppressive cancer treatments.

Neulasta is an amino acid. It works by stimulating bone marrow to produce white blood cells, which fight infection.

Do NOT use Neulasta if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Neulasta , filgrastim, or Escherichia coli (E. coli)-derived proteins

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Neulasta :

Some medical conditions may interact with Neulasta . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have other blood problems (eg, sickle cell anemia), bone marrow leukemia, spleen problems, lung problems, or a blood or tissue infection
  • if you are or will be undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Neulasta . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Lithium because the side effects of Neulasta may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Neulasta may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Neulasta :

Use Neulasta as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Neulasta comes with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get Neulasta refilled.
  • Neulasta is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Neulasta at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • Do not shake Neulasta .
  • If Neulasta contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Neulasta , contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Neulasta .

Important safety information:

  • Serious and sometimes fatal spleen problems (including spleen rupture) have been reported in patients using Neulasta . Notify your doctor immediately if you experience left-sided upper stomach pain and/or shoulder tip pain.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Neulasta is not recommended for use in INFANTS or in CHILDREN weighing less than 100 pounds (45 kilograms). Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking Neulasta , discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Neulasta during pregnancy. It is unknown if Neulasta is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Neulasta , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Neulasta :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Bone or joint pain; constipation; diarrhea; hair loss; headache; muscle pain; swelling of the hands, feet, arms, or legs; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fever; left-sided upper stomach pain; shortness of breath; shoulder tip pain.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Neulasta :

Store Neulasta in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C), in the original carton. Do not freeze. If accidentally frozen, allow the medicine to thaw in the refrigerator. If frozen more than once, the medicine should be thrown away. If Neulasta is left at room temperature for more than 48 hours, it should be discarded. Protect from light. Keep Neulasta , as well as needles and syringes, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Neulasta , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Neulasta is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Neulasta . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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