Name: GM-CSF

Why is this medication prescribed?

Sargramostin is used to decrease the chance of infection in people who have acute myelogenous leukemia (AML; a type of cancer of the white blood cells) and are receiving chemotherapy medications that may decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of blood cell needed to fight infection). Sargramostin is also used in people who are undergoing blood stem cell transplants, in people who are undergoing bone marrow transplants, and to prepare the blood for leukapheresis (a treatment in which certain blood cells are removed from the body and then returned to the body following chemotherapy). Sargramostim is also used in people who have not responded after receiving a blood marrow transplant. Sargramostin is in a class of medications called colony-stimulating factors. It works by helping the body make more neutrophils and certain other blood cells.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using sargramostim injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sargramostim, yeast, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in sargramostim injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention betamethasone (Celestone), dexamethasone (Decadron), lithium (Lithobid), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you are being treated or if you have ever been treated with radiation therapy or if you have or ever had cancer, edema (swelling of stomach, feet, ankles, or lower legs), any type of heart disease, heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, lung, kidney, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using sargramostim, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using sargramostim.
  • you should know that sargramostim decreases the risk of infection, but does not prevent all infections that may develop during or after chemotherapy. Call your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, or ongoing cough and congestion.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • shortness of breath
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • fever
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • nausea
  • headache
  • rash

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to sargramostim.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Other names

  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • GM-CSF