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What condition does Sargramostim treat?

Sargramostim is given to individuals whose capacity to produce 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. 

This drug 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. This prescription is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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.

What is the recommended dosage for 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. You must 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
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tired feeling
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Injection site reactions (swelling, redness, bumps, irritation, or bruising)

What are the precautions in using Sargramostim?

  • Inform your doctor if you have any medical history, allergies, or current medications.
  • If you are a breastfeeding or pregnant woman, this drug may not be recommended. Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits before using. This prescription may not be recommended for them to use.
  • Do not inject this medication into the skin that is tender, bruised, and red, that has scars or stretch marks.
  • Patients taking this medication should avoid contact sports and activities where they might get injured or bruised.
  • The medicine should only be administered by a qualified health care professional and may cause side effects such as vomiting, headache, nausea, and fever.
  • Let your doctor know if you have or ever had a kidney or liver disease.