There are drug interactions and side effects that should be considered before taking Leukine® (sargramostim).
Drugs that can increase white blood cells (WBCs), such as lithium and corticosteroids, should be used with caution while receiving Leukine. Also, Leukine should not be used 24 hours before through 24 hours after any chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Interactions between Leukine and other drugs have not been fully evaluated.
Common Side Effects
Some patients who take Leukine may experience side effects, most of which are mild to moderate. Some common side effects include bone pain; a low fever elevation (usually less than 100.5°F or 38°C) for one to four hours after your injection; and swelling, redness, and/or discomfort at the injection site. You may also feel weak or tired, experience muscle aches, have diarrhea, experience stomach upset, or feel like you have the flu.
More About Bone Pain
Bone pain generally occurs in the areas of large marrow reserves, such as the sternum, pelvis, or long bones, and may be a result of expansion of the myeloid cell mass.
More About Low Fever
A low fever is caused by natural pyrogen stimulation in the body brought on by Leukine and can often be managed with acetaminophen administration.
More About Skin Reactions
Skin reactions may occur because cells of the immune system, such as macrophages, are drawn to the injection site.
Managing Side Effects
The following techniques may be used by the person administering your injection to help prevent, relieve, or manage some of the common side effects of Leukine treatment. Please consult with your healthcare team before taking any medications for fever or pain while you are receiving Leukine therapy.
For fever and/or bone pain, your healthcare provider may recommend pain relievers such as acetaminophen.
To minimize injection site discomfort, the person administering the injection should:
- Allow Leukine to come to room temperature before injecting
- Rotate injection sites from one injection to the next
- Avoid rubbing the skin before or after injecting
- Apply ice to the site for 1 minute before injecting
- Inject Leukine slowly (over thirty to sixty seconds)
Serious Side Effects
During your treatment, some serious but rare side effects or symptoms may occur that might be due to Leukine, your illness, or other treatments you may be receiving. Call your doctor immediately if you:
- You develop a high fever (over 100.5°F or 38°C)
- You notice any signs of infection including chills, sore throat, or congestion (such as a stuffy nose).
- Have trouble breathing; or experience wheezing, fainting, skin rash, or hives; or feel you are having an allergic reaction (see ALLERGY TO LEUKINE section below)
- You experience sudden weight gain or other signs of fluid build-up such as swollen legs or feet.
- You develop chest pain, chest discomfort, or a rapid or irregular pulse.
- You are concerned about any other side effects or symptoms you may be having, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.