Drugs Home > Filgrastim

Filgrastim is used to help prevent infections by stimulating the production of neutrophils. It is used for aiding in the collection of stem cells and preventing infections in people undergoing chemotherapy or receiving bone marrow transplants. The medicine comes as an injection that is given just under the skin or by IV. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, or bone pain.

What Is Filgrastim?

Filgrastim (Neupogen®) is a prescription medication used to stimulate the production of neutrophils, certain white blood cells that are important for preventing infections. Specifically, it is approved to:
  • Prevent infections in people undergoing chemotherapy
  • Prevent infections in people receiving bone marrow transplants
  • Aid in the collection of stem cells collected for use in stem cell transplantation
  • Prevent infections and other problems in people with low neutrophils due to certain other causes.
(Click What Is Filgrastim Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Filgrastim is made by Amgen, Inc.

How Does the Medication Work?

Filgrastim works by stimulating the production of certain white blood cells known as neutrophils. Neutrophils help protect the body from infection, and having a low neutrophil count (known medically as neutropenia) increases the risk of infection.
Chemotherapy (including chemotherapy during bone marrow transplantation) often causes neutropenia and infections. Some people are born with a decreased ability to produce neutrophils or stop making them due to unknown reasons, and filgrastim is also useful for increasing neutrophils in such individuals. The medication also is useful for stimulating the production of stem cells in the blood that can be collected for stem cell transplantation.
Filgrastim belongs to a group of medications called granulocyte colony-stimulating factors. Colony-stimulating factors bind to stem cells in the bone marrow, stimulating the production of blood cells. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that stimulates the production of neutrophils. Filgrastim is a synthetic version of G-CSF. It binds to stem cells and stimulates the production of neutrophils, helping to decrease the risk of infection.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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