Why is this medication prescribed?
Udenyca is prescribed to reduce the risk of infection in patients undergoing certain types of cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs can affect rapidly dividing cells in the body, including white blood cells. White blood cells are essential for the immune system and help the body fight off infections.
Udenyca contains pegfilgrastim, which is a long-acting form of filgrastim. Filgrastim is a substance that stimulates the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells, specifically granulocytes. By increasing the production of these cells, Udenyca helps to maintain an adequate level of white blood cells in the body during and after chemotherapy. This can reduce the risk of developing febrile neutropenia, a condition characterized by a low white blood cell count and fever, which can lead to serious infections.
How should this medicine be used?
Udenyca is typically administered as a subcutaneous injection, meaning it is injected under the skin. The injection is often given by a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, in a clinical setting. Here are general guidelines for the use of Udenyca:
- Prescription and Administration by Healthcare Professional: Udenyca is a prescription medication, and only a qualified healthcare professional can prescribe it. The injection is usually given in a healthcare setting, such as a clinic or hospital.
- Timing and Frequency: The timing and frequency of Udenyca injections depend on the specific chemotherapy regimen being used. Healthcare providers will determine the appropriate schedule based on the patient’s treatment plan.
- Subcutaneous Injection: Udenyca is administered as a subcutaneous injection, typically into the fatty tissue just under the skin. The injection site is often the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. The healthcare provider will rotate injection sites to avoid irritation or discomfort.
- Patient Education: Patients may receive instructions on self-administration if deemed appropriate by the healthcare provider. If self-administering, patients should be educated on the proper technique, storage of the medication, and any potential side effects to watch for.
- Follow-Up: Patients should follow the dosing schedule provided by their healthcare provider. It’s important to attend all scheduled appointments to monitor the response to treatment and make any necessary adjustments.
It’s crucial to note that individual patient instructions may vary, and the above information is a general guideline. Patients should always follow the specific instructions given by their healthcare provider. If there are any concerns or questions about the use of Udenyca, patients should contact their healthcare team for clarification and guidance.
Other uses for this medicine
As of last update, Udenyca is not approved for other uses beyond its primary indication in cancer treatment. Medications are prescribed based on specific medical conditions, and any alternative uses should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
What special precautions should I follow?
Regarding special precautions, it’s important to follow the advice and instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Here are some general precautions associated with Udenyca:
- Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider about any allergies you may have, especially if you are allergic to pegfilgrastim or filgrastim.
- Bone Disorders: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing bone disorders, as certain conditions may affect the use of Udenyca.
- Sickle Cell Disorders: Individuals with sickle cell disorders may need to exercise caution when using Udenyca, and the healthcare provider should be aware of this condition.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of Udenyca with your healthcare provider.
- Infection: Report any signs of infection, such as fever or persistent sore throat, to your healthcare provider promptly.
- Monitoring: Regular monitoring of blood cell counts may be necessary during treatment with Udenyca.
Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and information. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It’s crucial to have open communication with your healthcare team to ensure the safe and effective use of any prescribed medication.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
As of last update, there were no specific dietary instructions associated with Udenyca. However, always follow any dietary advice provided by your healthcare provider. Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is generally important for overall health, especially during cancer treatment.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget a dose of Udenyca, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider or the medical team overseeing your treatment. They can provide guidance on the appropriate course of action based on your specific situation. Do not try to make up for a missed dose without consulting your healthcare provider.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Udenyca (pegfilgrastim) is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it can cause side effects. Common side effects may include:
- Bone Pain: Pain in the bones is a common side effect. This is often temporary and can be managed with pain relievers as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Pain or Redness at the Injection Site: Some individuals may experience pain, redness, or swelling at the site of injection. Rotating injection sites can help minimize this.
- Allergic Reactions: While rare, allergic reactions can occur. Seek medical attention if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
- Splenomegaly (Enlarged Spleen): Udenyca may cause an enlargement of the spleen, which can lead to left upper abdominal pain or discomfort. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience these symptoms.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): ARDS has been reported in some patients receiving pegfilgrastim. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
- Leukocytosis (High White Blood Cell Count): An excessive increase in white blood cell counts may occur. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood counts.
- Capillary Leak Syndrome: This rare but serious condition involves the leaking of fluid from the blood vessels, leading to a drop in blood pressure. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
It’s important to report any unusual or severe symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly. This list is not exhaustive, and individual responses to medication can vary. Your healthcare team will provide you with detailed information about potential side effects and what to do if they occur. If you have concerns about Udenyca or its side effects, discuss them with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
- Refrigeration: Udenyca should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze.
- Protection from Light: Keep the Udenyca syringe in its original carton to protect it from light.
- Do Not Shake: Do not shake the Udenyca syringe.
- Out of Reach of Children: Keep Udenyca and all medications out of the reach of children.
- Dispose of Needles Safely: If you are self-administering Udenyca and using needles, dispose of needles and syringes in an appropriate sharps container.
- Consult with Healthcare Provider: Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on the proper disposal of unused or expired Udenyca.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of emergency or overdose, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical attention. Overdose symptoms may include bone pain and pain in the left upper side of the abdomen.
What other information should I know?
- Medical History: Provide your healthcare provider with a comprehensive medical history, including any allergies, previous treatments, or existing medical conditions.
- Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may regularly monitor your blood counts and overall health during Udenyca treatment.
- Follow-up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to assess the effectiveness of treatment and address any concerns.
- Communication with Healthcare Team: Inform your healthcare team of any side effects, changes in health, or new symptoms promptly.
- Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider of all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, that you are taking.
Always follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, and do not hesitate to contact them with any questions or concerns. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It’s important to have open communication with your healthcare team for safe and effective use of Udenyca.