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Colony Stimulating Factors (Systemic)
Other commonly used names are: Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)
Filgrastim and sargramostim are synthetic (man-made) versions of substances naturally produced in your body. These substances, called colony stimulating factors, help the bone marrow to make new white blood cells.
When certain cancer medicines fight your cancer cells, they also affect those white blood cells that fight infection. To help prevent infections when these cancer medicines are used, colony stimulating factors may be given. Colony stimulating factors also may be used to help the bone marrow recover after bone marrow transplantation and stem cell transplantation.
Colony stimulating factors are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For colony stimulating factors, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to the colony stimulating factor. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Colony stimulating factors have not been studied in pregnant women.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether colony stimulating factors pass into human breast milk. However, these medicines have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
Children- Although there is no specific information comparing use of colony stimulating factors in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults. In Canada, data from clinical trials in children indicate that the safety of filgrastim is similar in both adults and children receiving certain cancer medicines.
Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of colony stimulating factors in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine has been used in many elderly patients and is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of colony stimulating factors. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
If you are injecting this medicine yourself, use it exactly as directed by your doctor . Do not use more or less of it, and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. The exact amount of medicine you need has been carefully worked out. Using too much will increase the risk of side effects, while using too little may not improve your condition.
If you are injecting this medicine yourself, each package of colony stimulating factor will contain a patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:
If you have any questions about any of this, check with your health care professional.
The dose of colony stimulating factors will be different for different patients. The dose that is used may depend on a number of things, including what the medicine is being used for, the patient's body weight or size, and whether or not other medicines are also being taken. If you are receiving colony stimulating factors at home, follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . If you have any questions about the proper dose of colony stimulating factors, ask your doctor.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, check with your doctor.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Colony stimulating factors are used to prevent or reduce the risk of infection while you are being treated with cancer medicines. Because your body's ability to fight infection is reduced, it is very important that you call your doctor at the first sign of any infection (for example, if you get a fever or chills) so you can start antibiotic treatment right away.
Colony stimulating factors commonly cause mild bone pain, usually in the lower back or pelvis, about the time the white blood cells start to come back in your bone marrow. The pain is usually mild and lasts only a few days. Your doctor will probably prescribe a mild analgesic (painkiller) for you to take during that time. If you find that the analgesic is not strong enough, talk with your doctor about using something that will make you more comfortable.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
The side effects listed below include only those that might be caused by colony stimulating factors. To find out about other side effects that may be caused by the cancer medicines you are also receiving, look under the information about those specific medicines.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it also is useful for other medical problems. Although not specifically included in the product labeling, colony stimulating factors are used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Other than the above information, there is no additional information relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for these uses.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT