This medication is given to those whose ability to make white blood cells has been reduced. This medication stimulates the blood system (bone marrow) to make white blood cells, which help your body fight infections. Sargramostim (also known as GM-CSF, or granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor) is a man-made version of a certain natural substance found in the body that also stimulates the bone marrow to make white blood cells. It is produced using a certain yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Do not shake this medication. Doing so may make the drug ineffective.
Follow your doctor's directions exactly. This medication is given by infusion into a vein (IV) or by injection under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually once a day until the proper blood counts are reached. Dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, lab results, and response to treatment. Use the exact amount of drug prescribed by your doctor. If you use less than the prescribed amount, your body may not produce enough white blood cells to protect your body against infections. If you use more than the prescribed amount, your body may produce too many white blood cells.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
When injecting under the skin, a new injection site should be chosen for each dose. This will help prevent soreness. Never inject sargramostim into skin that is tender, red, bruised, or hard or has scars or stretch marks.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Remove the medication from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you inject it to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not shake. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
If you are receiving chemotherapy for cancer, you should not be given sargramostim at the same time. You should receive sargramostim either before or after the chemotherapy, depending on your blood count results and your doctor's directions.
Aching in the bones and muscles, chills, or headache may occur. Taking a non-aspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen may help. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Nausea, vomiting, or injection-site reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, lumps, or bruising may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: chest pain, sudden weight gain, swelling of the hands/feet, shortness of breath, black stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, fast/irregular heartbeat, vision problems, a sudden reddening of the face/neck/chest, severe dizziness, fainting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using sargramostim, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other medications made in a similar manner (man-made proteins using Saccharomyces cerevisiae); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as benzyl alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: fluid retention, lung problems, heart problems (e.g., congestive heart failure-CHF, rhythm problems), liver disease, kidney disease, other blood disorders (e.g., myeloid cancers), current chemotherapy.
If you are scheduled to have radiation therapy, tell your doctor you are taking sargramostim. This medication should not be given during the time you are receiving radiation therapy.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: shortness of breath, unusual weakness, fast heartbeat.
This medication must be taken under close medical supervision so your blood counts can be monitored. Keep all medical appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, platelet counts, liver function, kidney function, body weight, fluid status) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Do not freeze. After mixing, use within time period indicated in the product instructions or consult your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised December 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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