Filgrastim (E. coli) Solution for injection

What is this medicine?

FILGRASTIM, G-CSF (fil GRA stim) stimulates the formation of white blood cells. This medicine is given to patients with conditions that may cause a decrease in white blood cells, like those receiving certain types of chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant. It helps the bone marrow recover its ability to produce white blood cells. Increasing the amount of white blood cells helps to decrease the risk of infection and fever.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein or injection under the skin. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Always change the site for the injection under the skin. Let the solution warm to room temperature before you use it. Do not shake the solution before you withdraw a dose. Throw away any unused portion. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • difficulty breathing, wheezing

  • fever

  • pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site

  • stomach or side pain, or pain at the shoulder

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • bone pain (ribs, lower back, breast bone)

  • headache

  • skin rash

What may interact with this medicine?

  • lithium

  • medicines for cancer chemotherapy

What if I miss a dose?

Try not to miss doses. If you miss a dose take the dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, do not take double doses unless told to by your doctor or health care professional.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze or leave in direct sunlight. If vials or syringes are left out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours, they must be thrown away. Throw away unused vials after the expiration date on the carton.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • currently receiving radiation therapy

  • sickle cell disease

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to filgrastim, E. coli protein, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

If you get a fever or any sign of infection while you are using this medicine, do not treat yourself. Check with your doctor or health care professional.

Bone pain can usually be relieved by mild pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor or health care professional before taking these medicines as they may hide a fever. Call your doctor or health care professional if the aches and pains are severe or do not go away.