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Health Guide

Sargramostim (By injection)

Sargramostim (sar-GRA-moe-stim)

Helps your body make white blood cells after you receive cancer medicine, bone marrow transplant, or stem cell transplant. Also used to move cells into the blood for collection before a transplant and to improve survival in people who have been exposed to radiation.

Brand Name(s):

Leukine

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to sargramostim or similar medicines, yeast, or anything made from yeast.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine is available in two different forms: premixed liquid or a powder. You might be able to use the premixed liquid directly from the vial, or you might have to mix it with another liquid before you use it. You must mix the powder with another liquid before using it.
  • If you will be giving this medicine to yourself as a shot under your skin: You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. Do not inject into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard, or has scars or stretch marks.
  • Check the liquid inside the vial. It should be clear and colorless. Do not use it if it is cloudy, discolored, or has particles in it.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. Do not shake the medicine.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.
  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Keep this medicine in its original container. You may store the opened vials in the refrigerator for up to 20 days. Throw away unused medicine after 20 days. The powder has different storage directions based on what kind of liquid it was mixed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • If you are also receiving cancer medicines or radiation treatments, use sargramostim at least 24 hours before or after receiving cancer medicines and at least 24 hours before your dose of radiation treatment.
  • Some medicines can affect how sargramostim works. Tell your doctor if you are using a medicine that can increase the number of cells in your blood (including lithium, steroid medicine).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. This medicine contains benzyl alcohol, which can be harmful to infants and unborn babies.
  • Do not breastfeed during treatment with this medicine and for at least 2 weeks after your last dose.
  • Tell your doctor if have kidney disease, liver disease, edema (fluid retention), heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, or lung disease or other breathing problems.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Infusion reactions
    • Capillary leak syndrome
    • Changes in heart rhythm
    • Increased number of white blood cells in the blood
    • Increased risk of cancer
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or fingers
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate, cloudy urine
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Hair loss or thinning of hair
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Redness, pain, or swelling where the injection was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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