Leukine is a drug used to increase the white blood cell count in the blood. The generic name of this drug is Sargramostim. Leukine is used when the white blood cell blood count is lower due to conditions including leukemia and bone marrow transplant.
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Leukine is used when there is a deficiency of white blood cells. These cells play an important role in fighting diseases and providing immunity to the body. Even when there is no cancer, the production of WBCs may be hampered due to various procedures and a doctor may prescribe Leukine. Some of the conditions under which Leukine may be given have been listed below.
- Other types of cancer
- Bone marrow transplant
Leukine comes in injection form and is to be injected directly into the vein or under the skin. It is only prescribed for adults who are 55 years and older. It is very important that you follow your doctor"s instructions when taking this drug. Do not use more or less than the amount prescribed. Do not self-inject unless you have been shown how. After you have been taught how to inject Leukine into a vein or under the skin, follow all directions properly. Change the place where you inject yourself so that you do not inject in the same place consecutively. Each place you inject on your body should be injected only twice totally. Follow all other directions relating to the application of an ice-pack and the use of a diluent. People using this drug should be careful not to use it a day before or after they have undergone chemotherapy or radiation. Below you will find a typical dosage of Leukine.
- 250 mcg per square meter of affected area
Leukine Side Effects
There are various side effects associated with Leukine. Some are more serious than others. You should see your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Breathing difficulty
- Irregular or faster than normal heartbeat
- Discomfort in the chest
- Fever or chills
- Mouth sores
- Easy bruising
- Sudden and quick weight gain
Using this drug also makes you susceptible to certain other conditions including certain kinds of cancer. Be sure to discuss the various risks associated with Leukine before beginning treatment. It is likely that your doctor will think it necessary that you use this drug despite potential risks.
Be sure to tell your physician about all allergies you may have to both drugs and food. People who are allergic to sargramostim or to yeast should not use this drug. Also provide your doctor with a complete list of illnesses and diseases you have, especially:
- Heart disease
- Lung problems
- Bone marrow cancer
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Fluid retention
Some drugs Leukine is known to interact with are
The above list is in no way extensive. So be sure to tell your doctor about all medication you are currently taking.