Why is this medication prescribed?
Plerixafor injection is used along with a granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) medication such as filgrastim (Neupogen) or pegfilgrastim (Neulasta) to prepare the blood for an autologous stem cell transplant (procedure in which certain blood cells are removed from the body and then returned to the body after chemotherapy and/or radiation) in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL; cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection) or multiple myeloma (a type of cancer of the bone marrow). Plerixafor injection is in a class of medications called hematopoeitic stem cell mobilizers. It works by causing certain blood cells to move from the bone marrow to the blood so that they can be removed for transplant.
How should this medicine be used?
Plerixafor injection comes as a liquid to be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. It is usually injected once a day, 11 hours before the removal of blood cells, for up to 4 days in a row. Your treatment with plerixafor injection will begin after you have received a G-CSF medication once a day for 4 days, and you will continue to receive the G-CSF medication during your treatment with plerixafor injection.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving plerixafor injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to plerixafor injection or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had leukemia (cancer that begins in the white blood cells), an abnormally high number of neutrophils (a type of blood cell), or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should use birth control to prevent pregnancy during your treatment with plerixafor injection. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant while receiving plerixafor injection, call your doctor. Plerixafor injection may harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are receiving plerixafor injection.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Plerixafor injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- excessive tiredness
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- joint pain
- pain, redness, hardness, swelling, irritation, itching, bruising, bleeding, numbness, tingling, or rash in the place where plerixafor injection was injected
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- pain in the left upper part of the stomach or in the shoulder
- easy bruising or bleeding
- swelling around the eyes
- difficulty breathing
Plerixafor injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- stomach pain
- dizziness or lightheadedness
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to plerixafor injection.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about plerixafor injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.