Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor

Name: Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor

Why is this medication prescribed?

Filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, and tbo-filgrastim are used to decrease the chance of infection in people who have certain types of cancer and are receiving chemotherapy medications that may decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of blood cell needed to fight infection). Filgrastim and filgrastim-sndz are used in people who are undergoing bone marrow transplants, in people who have severe chronic neutropenia (condition in which there are a low number of neutrophils in the blood), 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). Filgrastim is also used to increase the chance of survival in people who have been exposed to harmful amounts of radiation, which can cause severe and life-threatening damage to your bone marrow. Filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, and tbo-filgrastim are in a class of medications called colony-stimulating factors. They work by helping the body make more neutrophils.

How should this medicine be used?

Filgrastim comes as a solution (liquid) in vials and prefilled syringes to inject under the skin or into a vein. Filgrastim-sndz comes as a solution (liquid) in prefilled syringes to inject under the skin or into a vein. Tbo-filgrastim comes as a solution (liquid) in prefilled syringes to inject under the skin. It is usually given once a day, but filgrastim and filgrastim-sndz may be given twice a day when it is used to treat severe chronic neutropenia. The length of your treatment depends on the condition that you have and how well your body responds to the medication.

If you are using filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim to decrease the risk of infection during chemotherapy, you will receive your first dose of the medication at least 24 hours after you receive a dose of chemotherapy, and will continue to receive the medication every day for up to 2 weeks or until your blood cell counts return to normal. If you are using filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz to decrease the risk of infection during a bone marrow transplant, you will receive the medication at least 24 hours after you receive chemotherapy and at least 24 hours after the bone marrow is infused. If you are using filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz to prepare your blood for leukapheresis, you will receive your first dose of filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz at least 4 days before the first leukapheresis and will continue to receive the medication until the last leukapheresis. If you are using filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz to treat severe chronic neutropenia, you may need to use the medication for a long period of time. If you are using filgrastim because you have been exposed to harmful amounts of radiation, your doctor will monitor you carefully and the length of your treatment will depend on how well your body responds to the medication. Do not stop using filgrastim without talking to your doctor.

Filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim may be given to you by a nurse or other healthcare provider, or you may be told to inject the medication at home. If you will be injecting filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim at home, inject the medication at about the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

If you will be injecting filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim yourself, a healthcare provider will show you how to inject the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about where on your body you should inject filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim, how to give the injection, what type of syringe to use, or how to dispose of used needles and syringes after you inject the medication.

Do not shake vials or syringes containing filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim. Vials and syringes that look foamy, cloudy, or discolored should not be used.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz and gradually increase your dose. Your doctor may also decrease your dose, depending on how your body reacts to the medication.

If you are using filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz to treat severe chronic neutropenia, you should know that filgrastim will control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to use filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz even if you feel well. Do not stop using filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz without talking to your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

Other uses for this medicine

Filgrastim is also sometimes used to treat certain types of myelodysplastic syndrome (a group of conditions in which the bone marrow produces blood cells that are misshapen and does not produce enough healthy blood cells) and acute myeloid leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells). Filgrastim is also sometimes used to decrease the chance of infection in people who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or people who are taking certain medications that decrease the number of neutrophils. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you will be injecting filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, or tbo-filgrastim at home, talk to your doctor about what you should do if you forget to inject the medication on schedule.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store filgrastim, filgrastim-sndz, and tbo-filgrastim in the refrigerator. If you accidentally freeze filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz, you may allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. However, if you freeze the same syringe or vial of filgrastim or filgrastim-sndz a second time, you should throw away that syringe or vial. Filgrastim and filgrastim-sndz may be kept at room temperature for up to 24 hours but should be kept away from direct sunlight. Tbo-filgrastim may be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days but should be protected from light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Other names

  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • G-CSF
  • Recombinant Methionyl Human G-CSF
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