Your healthcare provider has prescribed the medicine filgrastim.
Filgrastim raises the number of neutrophils in your blood. These are infection-fighting cells. Filgrastim is given as a shot after chemotherapy. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can give you information about it.
This sheet will also help you learn more about filgrastim.
What filgrastim can do for you
This medicine can:
Make you less likely to get an infection.
Make it safe for you to be in close contact with people. And as a result, you can do more.
Help prevent illness that could cause a delay in your treatment.
Improve your quality of life.
How it works
Certain kinds of chemotherapy reduce the number of neutrophils in your blood. As the number of these cells go down, you are less able to fight infection. Filgrastim helps your bone marrow make these blood cells faster.
About 24 hours after chemotherapy, you will get your first filgrastim shot. You'll get a shot every day until your blood counts reach a certain level. Talk with your healthcare provider about this level and how long you may need to get filgrastim.
Coping with side effects
Common side effects are:
Aching bones, joints, and muscles
Redness, swelling, or itching where the shot is given
These symptoms can often be eased with a heating pad and pain medicine. Don't take anything that has aspirin in it. Check with your healthcare provider before you take any pain medicine.
Other rare side effects include:
Tell your healthcare provider about any changes you notice.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
Possible signs of infection, such as:
Pain in the left upper stomach or left shoulder area (this could be a sign of an enlarged spleen, a rare side effect of this treatment)
Easy bruising, bleeding
Shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, swelling around the mouth or eyes, quick pulse, or sweating
Redness, swelling, or itching at the site of the shot