GENERIC NAME: filgrastim
BRAND NAME: Neupogen
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Filgrastim is used to prevent infectious complications associated with a decrease in the number of neutrophils in the body (neutropenia). Neutropenia may develop in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Neutropenia also may occur for unknown reasons in adults and infants. Filgrastim is used in healthy patients who will be donating bone marrow if their white blood cell counts are low.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects are:
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