Learn about cancer patients who supported their natural defenses during chemotherapy with Neulasta®. Your results may vary.
Julie is a professional singer based in Los Angeles. She's busy on the road and in the recording studio, doing background vocal work with A-list artists. After she felt a lump in her breast, a biopsy revealed that she had stage II breast cancer.
My oncologist and I decided to proceed with chemo to treat my non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My oncologist told me strong chemo could cause my white blood cell count to crash, which could lead to an infection. I took Neulasta® after each cycle of strong chemo. Neulasta® supported my natural defenses against infection by helping to keep my white blood cell count up.
I believe that being fit helped me through chemo. I was a professional volleyball player and I'm still an active athlete. I try to be as healthy as possible and take good care of my body. As much as I love sports and being active, my experience with cancer has inspired me to pursue a career in research. I hope I can help further the science that helped me through my cancer treatment.
I've always been a busy person. At the time of my breast cancer diagnosis, I was a mom of young kids and I was also running my own graphic design business. When I received my diagnosis, I knew I had to be ready for what was ahead. My treatment plan was intense—it included several lumpectomies and a mastectomy, followed by nine rounds of strong chemo.
In hindsight, I wish I had started taking Neulasta® from the start of my chemo treatment. I found out that because my kind of chemo was strong, my white blood cell count could drop, which could lead to infection. Even though my husband works at Amgen, the manufacturer of Neulasta®, my doctor first told me about Neulasta®, and prescribed it to me to help build up my white blood cell count.
Getting through chemo took the support of my family and friends. My love of exercise also helped me get through my chemo. After my treatment wrapped up, I continued to exercise. Now, when my workouts are tough, I think back to my time during chemo and say, "If I can do that, I can conquer anything!"
LEARN ABOUT THE NEULASTA® SUPPORT CENTER »
What are Neulasta® and NEUPOGEN®?
Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (filgrastim) are prescription medications used to reduce the risk of infection (initially marked by fever) in patients with some tumors receiving strong chemotherapy that decreases the number of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor your blood cell counts before and during your treatment with NEUPOGEN®.
Important Safety Information
Who should not take Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim)?
Do not take Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim) if you have had an allergic reaction to Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or to NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim).
Do Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim) prevent all infections?
Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim) may reduce your chance of getting an infection, but it does not prevent all infections. An infection can happen anytime your neutrophil counts are low. Look for signs of infection, such as fever, chills, rash, sore throat, diarrhea, or redness, swelling, or pain around a cut or sore. If you have any of these signs, contact your health care professional immediately.
What are possible serious side effects of Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim)?
Your spleen may become enlarged and can rupture while taking Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim). A ruptured spleen can cause death. The spleen is located in the upper left section of your stomach area. Call your doctor right away if you have pain in the left upper stomach area or left shoulder tip area. This pain could mean your spleen is enlarged or ruptured.
A serious lung problem called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been reported with Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim) use. Call your doctor or seek emergency care right away if you have shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or a fast rate of breathing.
Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim) can cause serious allergic reactions. These reactions can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, swelling around the mouth or eyes, fast pulse, sweating, and hives. If you start to have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or seek emergency care right away. If you have an allergic reaction during the injection, stop the injection. Call your doctor right away.
You may have a serious sickle cell crisis if you have a sickle cell disorder and take Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) or NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim). Serious and sometimes fatal sickle cell crises can occur in patients with sickle cell disorders receiving NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim). Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of sickle cell crisis such as pain or difficulty breathing.
What are the most common side effects of Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) and NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim)?
The most common side effect you may experience is aching in the bones and muscles. If this happens, it can usually be relieved with a nonaspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.
Some people experience redness, swelling, or itching at the site of injection. If you notice any signs of a local reaction, call your doctor.
If you have any questions about this information, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088).
For more information about Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim), please see the Neulasta® Prescribing Information and Patient Product Information. For more information about NEUPOGEN® (Filgrastim), please see the NEUPOGEN® Prescribing Information and Patient Product Information.