filgrastim, Neupogen

  • Medical Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is filgrastim, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Filgrastim is a man-made protein that is similar to the naturally occurring protein, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). G-CSF is produced in the body by the immune system and stimulates the formation of one type of white blood cell, the neutrophil. Neutrophils take part in the inflammatory reaction. They are responsible for detecting and destroying harmful bacteria and some fungi. Filgrastim is produced by bacteria through the use of genetic engineering and recombinant DNA technology. Filgrastim belongs to a class of drugs called colony-stimulating factors because of their ability to stimulate cells in the bone marrow to multiply and form colonies of new cells. Other CSFs include epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit) which stimulates the formation of red blood cells and sargramostim (Leukine) which also stimulates the formation of neutrophils. The FDA approved filgrastim in February 1991.

What brand names are available for filgrastim?

Neupogen

Is filgrastim available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for filgrastim?

Yes

What are the side effects of filgrastim?

The most common side effects are:

Other important side effects include:

Uric acid, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase levels may rise and spontaneously return to normal levels. Heart attacks and abnormal heart rhythm.

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