How Neulasta® can help
When you start chemotherapy, start strong
Support your natural defenses with Neulasta®
Chemotherapy (also known as chemo) works by killing fast-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately,
chemo can’t tell the difference between cancer cells and fast-growing healthy cells, including
red and white blood cells. As a result, one of the most serious potential side effects of some
types of chemotherapy is a low white blood cell count.1,4,5
Chemo that causes this side effect is described as myelosuppressive (my-eh-low-suh-PRESS-iv),
because it suppresses your production of white blood cells. A low white blood cell count—also
known as neutropenia (new-tro-pee-nee-uh)—can place some patients at risk for severe infections
and interruptions in cancer treatment.1-3
In fact, complications associated with a low white blood cell count are the most common causes
of dose reductions or delays in chemotherapy. 6-8
Neulasta® is a white blood cell booster to support your natural defenses and help reduce
the risk of infection in patients with some tumors receiving strong chemotherapy.
Learn more about the relationship between on-schedule chemotherapy and low white blood cell
What is Neulasta®?
Neulasta® is a prescription medication called a white cell booster that helps your body
produce more white blood cells to reduce your risk of infection. A low white blood cell count
can delay your chemotherapy or keep you from getting your full dose.
With the help of a white cell booster, you can maintain a sufficient white blood cell count. This
gives you a better chance of being able to stick to your chemotherapy schedule, which most doctors
agree is the first step to success.3,8,10-14
Studies have proven the effectiveness of Neulasta® in helping to protect chemotherapy patients
against the complications of a low white blood cell count.15-17
An improvement in your white blood cell counts will show that Neulasta® is doing its job.
Neulasta® helps provide protection against these complications with just 1 injection per cycle
of chemotherapy. It is given 24 hours after chemotherapy is administered. Neulasta® is for people
with some tumors - solid tumors and lymphomas, for example.15
Be sure to ask your doctor about white cell boosters and if Neulasta® is right for you—given one
day after the start of your chemo.
Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) is prescribed to reduce the risk of infection (initially
marked by fever) in patients with some tumors receiving strong chemotherapy that
decreases the number of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Important product safety information
Ruptured spleen (including fatal cases), a serious lung problem called acute respiratory
distress syndrome, and sickle cell crises have been reported. Call your doctor or
seek emergency care right away if you have abdominal or shoulder tip pain, shortness
of breath, trouble breathing, or a fast rate of breathing. In rare cases, serious
allergic reactions can occur, causing a rash, sudden reddening of the face, neck,
or upper chest, shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, swelling around the mouth
or eyes, fast pulse, and sweating. Sometimes these symptoms could come back within
days after stopping treatment for the allergic reaction. If you start to have any
of these symptoms, call your doctor or seek emergency care right away.
In a clinical study, mild to moderate bone pain occurred in 31% of the patients
taking Neulasta® and in 26% of the patients taking a placebo injection. In most
cases, bone pain was controlled with a non-narcotic pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.
Other common side effects reported by patients in the study taking either Neulasta®
or placebo were consistent with the underlying cancer diagnosis and its treatment
with chemotherapy, with the exception of bone pain. If you have any questions about
this information, be sure to discuss them with you doctor. You are encouraged to
report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Next: Helping to Protect Against infection »