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sargramostim, Leukine: Drug Facts, Side Effects and Dosing

What is sargramostim, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Sargramostim is a man-made form of the naturally-occurring protein, granulocyte, macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). GM-CSF is produced in the body by the immune system and stimulates the formation of white blood cells, including the granulocyte and the macrophage. Granulocytes and macrophages take part in the inflammatory reaction. They are responsible for detecting and destroying harmful bacteria and some fungi. Sargramostim belongs to a class of drugs called colony-stimulating factors because of their ability to stimulate cells in the bone marrow to multiply and form colonies. Sargramostim is man-made. It is a product of the genetic engineering of genes from fungi and is produced by recombinant DNA technology in bacteria. Other colony stimulating factors are epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit) that stimulate the formation of red blood cells and filgrastim (Neupogen) that also stimulates the formation of granulocytes and macrophages. The FDA approved sargramostim in March 1991.

What brand names are available for sargramostim?

Leukine

Is sargramostim available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for sargramostim?

Yes

What is Leukine used for?

Leukine is a medication prescribed to increase the number of white blood cells in patients with low white blood cell counts (neutropenia).

What are the side effects of sargramostim?

The most common side effects while taking sargramostim are:

What is the dosage for sargramostim?

Sargramostim is administered intravenously or subcutaneously (under the skin). Sargramostim vials should not be shaken since the drug may be damaged, and bubbles may form that can prevent some of the drug from being drawn up into the syringe at the time of injection. Doses and duration of treatment vary depending on which condition it is used for. 250 mcg/m2/day given by intravenous injection is a typical adult dose for most uses.

What drugs or supplements interact with sargramostim?

Use sargramostim with caution if you are receiving drugs that may potentiate Leukine's myeloproliferative effects, such as lithium and corticosteroids.

Is sargramostim safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no studies to determine if sargramostim is excreted into breast milk.

What else should I know about sargramostim?

What preparations of sargramostim are available?

Injectable Solution: 500 mcg/ml; Powder for Injection: 250 mcg/vial

How should I keep sargramostim stored?

Sargramostim should be stored at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F). Sargramostim should not be frozen.

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