What is Neupogen Uses, warnings & interactions
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Neupogen (filgrastim) is an injectable medication that is manufactured by Amgen. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991 to treat neutropenia (low white blood cells) in patients receiving treatment for certain types of cancer. It may also be used to increase the number of white blood cells before a bone marrow/stem cell transplant or in patients who have severe chronic neutropenia that is not caused by cancer treatment.
If your doctor has prescribed Neupogen to you, you may want to know more about what it is and how it works. Here we’ll explain what Neupogen is used for, how it works, its side effects, and more.
What is Neupogen used for?
Neupogen is a leukocyte growth factor used to:
- Reduce the risk of infection in patients with certain cancers receiving chemotherapy
- Increase neutrophil levels following induction or consolidation chemotherapy treatment in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Reduce the duration of febrile neutropenia in patients with certain cancers undergoing chemotherapy followed by bone marrow transplantation (BMT)
- Reduce the incidence and duration of severe neutropenia in symptomatic patients with congenital neutropenia‚ cyclic neutropenia‚ or idiopathic neutropenia
- Increase survival in patients exposed to high doses of radiation
How does Neupogen work?
Strong chemotherapy or radiation can lower the number of white blood cells circulating in your bloodstream. Neupogen is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). It works like the G-CSF protein that your body naturally makes. It causes your bone marrow to produce neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that helps you fight infections.
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Neupogen?
- 300mcg/ml in a single-dose vial
- 480mcg/1.6ml in a single-dose vial
- 300mcg/0.5ml in a single-dose prefilled syringe
- 480mcg/0.8ml in a single-dose prefilled syringe
Before taking Neupogen
Before taking Neupogen, tell your healthcare provider about your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have sickle cell disorder
- Have kidney problems
- Are receiving radiation therapy
- Have an allergy to latex
- Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding
How to take Neupogen
- Read the Patient Information, Instructions for Use, and Medication Guide that comes with Neupogen.
- You can receive Neupogen via an IV (intravenous) infusion or under your skin. Your doctor may allow you or a caregiver to give your Neupogen dose under your skin at home. Your doctor should show you or your caregiver how to administer this medication before you receive your first dose.
- Use Neupogen exactly as your doctor prescribes it. They will do blood tests to monitor your white blood cell levels and adjust your dose as needed. Do not change your dose of Neupogen or stop this medication without discussing it with them first.
- Neupogen should be given at least 24 hours before or 24 hours after your dose of chemotherapy.
- You will need your white blood cell counts checked every 3 days during treatment if you have been exposed to high doses of radiation that may affect your bone marrow.
- If you miss a dose of this medication, call your doctor right away to reschedule.
You should not use Neupogen if you have a history of serious allergic reactions to human granulocyte colony-stimulating factors such as filgrastim or pegfilgrastim. You should also avoid this medication if you have a known hypersensitivity to E. coli-derived proteins.
- Notify your doctor if you experience left upper abdominal or left shoulder pain as it may be a sign of a ruptured spleen.
- Neupogen can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Your doctor may need to stop this medication if you develop a fever and trouble breathing.
- Neupogen should be stopped if you develop a sickle cell crisis.
- You should be monitored for signs of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) if you have breast or lung cancer.
- Your platelet counts should also be monitored as Neupogen may cause thrombocytopenia.
What drugs should not be taken with Neupogen?
When Neupogen is taken with other medications, it may change how they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. You should ask your doctor if any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may cause drug interactions with Neupogen.
What are some possible side effects of Neupogen?
The most common side effects of Neupogen include:
- Injection site reactions
- Decreased platelets
- Fatigue or unusual tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Bone pain
- Abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Hair loss
Neupogen can sometimes cause more serious side effects, including:
- Severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (hives, swelling of your face or throat, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)
- Ruptured spleen
- Kidney damage
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Severe and sometimes fatal sickle cell crisis
- Capillary leak syndrome (CLS)
- Inflammation of the aorta
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any possible adverse effects you experience while taking Neupogen. You can report your adverse effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Your doctor can prescribe other medications if Neupogen is not right for you. Some alternative FDA-approved options include:
Can you take Neupogen while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
Published reproductive studies did not show any association of adverse effects on the mother or fetus when this medication was used during pregnancy. There are case reports that showed no adverse effects noted in breastfed infants whose mothers were using Neupogen. You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
When should Neupogen be given?
Neupogen should be given at least 24 hours following chemotherapy and not within 24 hours before chemotherapy.
Is Neupogen a chemotherapy drug?
No, Neupogen is a medication that is used after chemotherapy to reduce the risk of infections and fevers caused by low white blood cell counts.
How should you store Neupogen?
Neupogen should be stored in the original carton in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Take Neupogen out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to administer it so it can reach room temperature. You should dispose of any Neupogen left at room temperature for more than 24 hours or any left in the vial or prefilled syringe after administering a dose.
How much does Neupogen cost?
Currently, there is no generic Neupogen available on the market. The average cost of 1 prefilled syringe of Neupogen 300 mcg/0.5 ml is almost $500. However, you can save on brand-name drugs like Neupogen through NiceRx if eligible for assistance.
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.