Brand names: Neulasta, Neulastim
Chemical name: Pegfilgrastim
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 can be given as an injection or as a patch applied to your skin. The injection is 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.
The Neulasta patch, called Neulasta Onpro, is applied by a healthcare professional right after your chemotherapy infusion. The patch automatically delivers the dose of Neulasta over 45 minutes, approximately 27 hours after the patch is applied. Once the dose is complete, you remove the patch.
- bone and joint pain
- muscle pain
- spleen rupture
- pain in the upper left part of the stomach or tip of the left shoulder
- trouble breathing
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.