Sargramostim is given to people whose ability to make white blood cells is reduced. This is used to help your body make more white blood cells. White blood cells are important to help you fight off infections. Sargramostim may also be used in certain treatment procedures like stem cell transplant or bone marrow.
How does Sargramostim work?
Sargramostim is a growth factor that stimulates the production, maturation, and activation of three types of white blood cells:
- Neutrophils – are the most abundant white blood cells and are the first to respond to the site of an infection. Their purpose is to capture and digest foreign invaders such as bacteria.
- Macrophages – also capture and digest foreign invaders but are longer acting and recognize more invaders than neutrophils.
- Dendritic cells – this makeup less than a percent of white blood cells but are extremely important.
Each of these three cells has a distinct purpose and function within the immune system. They continuously scan their environment and alert other cells when they find something foreign such as an infection.
Why use Sargramostim?
Sargramostim is a man-made version of a certain natural substance made in your body. This is to fight and lessen the infection during cancer therapy. This medication is for subcutaneous or intravenous use. Sargramostim is supplied as a sterile, preservative-free, white lyophilized powder in a single-dose vial. Each single-vial vial delivers 250 mcg of Sargramostim. This prescription is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How to use Sargramostim?
This medication is given by injection under the skin or into a vein. This is usually given once a day. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to it. Before using, check the product visually for particles or discoloration. Do not use the medication if either is present.
Clean the injection site first with rubbing alcohol. To lessen the injury, change the injection site each time. Remember to use this at the same time every day or as directed by your doctor. It is important that you take this medication exactly as it is prescribed.
What are the side effects of Sargramostim?
- Joint pain
- Pain or aching in the bones and muscles
- Stomach pain
- Tired feeling
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rash or itching
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Injection site reactions (swelling, redness, lumps, irritation, or bruising)
Warnings and Precautions
- Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, medical history, or current medications.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding women, this drug may not be recommended. Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits before using.
- Do not inject this medication into the skin that is tender, bruised, and red, that has scars or stretch marks.
- Let your doctor know if you have kidney or liver disease.