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Hematopoietic stimulants are called granulocyte colony
stimulating factors (G-CSF) or granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating
factors (GM-CSF). They are most often given as shots under your skin.
Hematopoietic stimulants are the man-made
form of something that is produced naturally by your body. These drugs help
your bone marrow make new
white blood cells.
When you have chemotherapy for cancer,
it kills the cells in your
bone marrow. Hematopoietic stimulants help your bone
marrow make new white blood cells. You need white blood cells to prevent or
fight infection while you are being treated with chemotherapy.
Clinical trials are testing hematopoietic stimulants
to see if they help people with some types of cancer. They work by stimulating
Hematopoietic stimulants help your
body make new white blood cells and help prevent infection after chemotherapy.
Preventing infection is an important part of cancer treatment. It may make it
less likely that you will have severe complications or need to be
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
Most people have few problems with
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
December 14, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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