Filgrastim is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor used to decrease the chance of infection mostly in people undergoing chemotherapy. Filgrastim also decreases infection rates for those who have severe chronic neutropenia. It is also used in preparing blood for leukapheresis, a treatment in which various blood cells are removed from the body then returned to the body after the chemotherapy. It works by helping the body make neutrophils, a type of white blood cells.
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Filgrastim is a man made protein that stimulates the blood system so that it creates more white blood cells so one may more easily fight off infections. In most cases, filgrastim is used as treatment for neutropenia, a condition where there is a serious lack of white blood cells. Therefore, filgrastim could be used during cancer, bone marrow transplant, and chemotherapy.
Below you will find the different types of conditions that can be treated by using filgrastim:
- Chemotherapy side effects
Filgrastim comes in form of a solution injected into the skin or a vein. It is normally administered once in a day, however it may be administered two times a day when used to treat severe chronic neutropenia. The interval of this treatment is determined by the condition you have and also how well your body responds to the medication. Below you will find a typical dosage of filgrastim.
- Initial Dose: 5 mcg/kg per day as a single daily bolus injection or short intravenous infusion of about 15 to 30 minutes
- Maintenance dose: In phase three trials, efficiency should be observed at 4-8 mcg/kg per day
Filgrastim Side Effects
Like any drug, the use of filgrastim may result in some side effects. If you experience any side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately. Below you will find a list of common side effects. Note that not all possible side effects are listed.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Fast breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or mouth
- Changes in skin color
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
Like any drug, filgrastim may interact with other drugs and substances. Drug interactions may change the method in which your medication work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Below you will find a list of drugs that may interact with filgrastim. Note the list does not contain all possible drugs interactions.