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Side Effects of Pegfilgrastim

Some of the most commonly reported side effects of pegfilgrastim include muscle pain, bone pain, and headaches. In most cases, side effects either don't require medical attention or can be treated easily. There are, however, a number of pegfilgrastim side effects that are potentially serious and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately, including difficulty breathing, increased cancer growth, or an allergic reaction.

Pegfilgrastim Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with pegfilgrastim (Neulasta®); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with pegfilgrastim. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Pegfilgrastim

Pegfilgrastim has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. In these studies, the most common side effects of pegfilgrastim included:
  • Bone pain -- in up to 57 percent of people
  • Muscle pain -- up to 21 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 16 percent
  • Joint pain -- up to 16 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 13 percent
  • Weakness -- up to 13 percent
  • Swelling or water retention in the ankles or feet -- up to 12 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 10 percent.
Pegfilgrastim is given to help prevent infection due to chemotherapy. In studies of pegfilgrastim, some side effects were common but were most likely due to the chemotherapy, not to the drug itself. These common side effects included:
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