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Brand name: Neulasta

Chemical name: Pegfilgrastim

Class: Granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Neupogen and Zarxio are other granulocyte colony stimulating factors.

How it works: Granulocyte colony stimulating factors help the body make more neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.

Uses: Neulasta is used to reduce the risk of infection during chemotherapy treatment.

How it's given: Neulasta is given as an injection. It's usually given once during each chemotherapy cycle, at least 24 hours after the last dose of chemotherapy in the cycle and 14 days before the first dose of chemotherapy in the next cycle.

Side effects:

Your doctor may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to treat bone pain caused by Neulasta. Neulasta helps the body make more white blood cells by stimulating the immune system, which also creates histamines. So your doctor also may recommend an antihistamine such as Claritin (chemical name: loratadine) – NOT Claritin-D – to ease bone pain caused by Neulasta.  

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