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Pegfilgrastim is used to reduce the chance of infection in people who have certain types of cancer and are receiving chemotherapy medications that may decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of blood cell needed to fight infection). Pegfilgrastim is also used to increase the chance of survival in people who have been exposed to harmful amounts of radiation, which can cause severe and life-threatening damage to bone marrow. Pegfilgrastim is in a class of medications called colony stimulating factors. It works by helping the body make more neutrophils.
Dosage & Administration:
Pegfilgrastim comes as a solution (liquid) in prefilled injection syringes and in a pre-filled automatic injection device (On-body Injector) to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). If you are using pegfilgrastim to decrease the risk of infection during chemotherapy, it is usually given as a single dose for each chemotherapy cycle, no sooner than 24 hours after the last dose of chemotherapy of the cycle is given and more than 14 days before beginning the next chemotherapy cycle. If you are using pegfilgrastim because you have been exposed to harmful amounts of radiation, it is usually given as 2 single doses, one week apart. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should use pegfilgrastim.
Pegfilgrastim may be given to you by a nurse or other healthcare provider, or you may be told to inject the medication at home. If you will be injecting pegfilgrastim at home, follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use pegfilgrastim exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you will be injecting pegfilgrastim yourself, a healthcare provider will show you how to inject the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about where on your body you should inject pegfilgrastim, how to give the injection, or how to dispose of used needles and syringes after you inject the medication.
If your pegfilgrastim comes in a pre-filled automatic injection device (On-body Injector), the device will usually be applied to your abdomen or the back of your arm by a nurse or other healthcare provider the day before you will receive the dose of pegfilgrastim. The next day (approximately 27 hours after the On-Body Injector was applied to your skin), the dose of pegfilgrastim will be automatically injected over 45 minutes.