Growth Factor Shots

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Susie Hatton
Susie Hatton Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
May have to take growth factor shots due to blood counts. Have heard terrible stories about these? Anyone else have anything they can share about these?

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  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    Welcome, Susie
    Not sure what you mean by "growth factor shot"? -- is this the Neulasta shot, or something different?

    Neulasta is the shot given the day after each chemo round (if your doctor determines you need it -- not everyone gets it), to nudge your bone marrow to make more white blood cells and raise your white blood cell count.

    According to my doctor, the only major side effect of Neulasta is bone pain, which can be severe for some women, but only lasts a few days. I was very lucky -- I had Neulasta after 3 of my 4 rounds of chemo, and only ever had moderate achiness in my legs, like when you have the flu. It never got bad enough that I felt I had to take any pain medication for it.

    Don't know if that helps at all?

    Traci
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
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    Growth Factor Shots
    Another brand name is Neupogen. Both Neulasta and Neupogen are filgrastim, which stimulates your bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.

    I am currently taking filgrastim (Neupogen) shots for five days after each of my chemo treatments, and I only experienced some achiness during the first week of shots. I went to bed and got on a heating pad and went to sleep; when I awoke, I felt fine. Since that first round of shots, I have experienced no achiness at all--my DH gives me the shot, which sometimes hurts a bit, then I go about my business.

    I have heard that if you take them at bedtime and then go to sleep, you are less likely to notice any achiness. I did that the first two times. However, the third time, I took them in the morning, and I still didn't notice any pain of any kind.

    Basically, the terrible things one hears are often the worst stories, and we rarely hear the best stories--kinda like the nightly news--terrible stories are more sensational! ;)

    I suspect that for many people, these shots are not that big a deal, but for a few people, they are. Let's hope that you're one of those people who finds them no big deal!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Sandy
  • Susie Hatton
    Susie Hatton Member Posts: 3
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    Growth Factor Shots
    Another brand name is Neupogen. Both Neulasta and Neupogen are filgrastim, which stimulates your bone marrow to produce more white blood cells.

    I am currently taking filgrastim (Neupogen) shots for five days after each of my chemo treatments, and I only experienced some achiness during the first week of shots. I went to bed and got on a heating pad and went to sleep; when I awoke, I felt fine. Since that first round of shots, I have experienced no achiness at all--my DH gives me the shot, which sometimes hurts a bit, then I go about my business.

    I have heard that if you take them at bedtime and then go to sleep, you are less likely to notice any achiness. I did that the first two times. However, the third time, I took them in the morning, and I still didn't notice any pain of any kind.

    Basically, the terrible things one hears are often the worst stories, and we rarely hear the best stories--kinda like the nightly news--terrible stories are more sensational! ;)

    I suspect that for many people, these shots are not that big a deal, but for a few people, they are. Let's hope that you're one of those people who finds them no big deal!

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Sandy

    Shots
    Thank you, this helped and yes, you are right, we normally only hear the worst. I had my first chemo today and I've been waiting all day for something horrible to happen but so far, nothing. Like I didn't even have it done...
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    Shots
    Thank you, this helped and yes, you are right, we normally only hear the worst. I had my first chemo today and I've been waiting all day for something horrible to happen but so far, nothing. Like I didn't even have it done...

    I think neulata and nupogen
    I think neulata and nupogen are same type but not same drug. I had shoulder pain for one day, I also got diahrea but not sure it was related. Some people say they take claritin, or allegra it helped the pain. hope you dont have any issues. everyone is different.
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Shots
    Thank you, this helped and yes, you are right, we normally only hear the worst. I had my first chemo today and I've been waiting all day for something horrible to happen but so far, nothing. Like I didn't even have it done...

    Susie
    Glad to hear that your feeling good so far. You may still feel some side effects hit you, as most people start to really feel things kick in about 3 days after the chemo treatment.

    Hopefully you will continue to feel "normal", but if you have any problems, don't hesitate to call your doctor's office for help. They have a lot of tools to help with any side effects, and you shouldn't have to just suffer through it.

    Take care,
    Cindy
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
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    Susie
    Glad to hear that your feeling good so far. You may still feel some side effects hit you, as most people start to really feel things kick in about 3 days after the chemo treatment.

    Hopefully you will continue to feel "normal", but if you have any problems, don't hesitate to call your doctor's office for help. They have a lot of tools to help with any side effects, and you shouldn't have to just suffer through it.

    Take care,
    Cindy

    The difference
    Both Neulasta (R) and Neupogen (R) are registered trademarks/brand names by Amgen. Neulasta is pegfilgrastim, while Neupogen is filgrastim. Both are man-made forms of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors that stimulate the growth of neutrophils, a type of WBC that helps fight off infection.

    The difference between them is in the dosage--one takes one shot of Neulasta or multiple daily shots of Neupogen. According to the study I read, both are well tolerated and they appear to have the same risk of adverse events and the same efficacy. Which you receive will be determined by your oncologist in relation to the cocktail of drugs you will be receiving and other factors for you and your treatment. It may also depend upon drug contracts either between your doctor's hospital/organization and Amgen or between your insurance and Amgen.

    Basically, whichever you receive, the effect is so close to the same that the study showed no significant difference between the two treatments.

    Good luck!! I hope you have the same adverse reactions I do--essentially none!

    Sandy