Neumega-Oprelvekin

Patient Education Quick Reference Guide Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group Phone Number: 925-677-5041

WARNING Allergy related problems: Oprelvekin may cause allergic reactions, including a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. These allergic reactions can cause swelling of the face or tongue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, swallowing or talking, wheezing, chest pain, throat tightness, a decrease in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, confusion, rash, hives, flushing and fever. Your doctor or healthcare provider will watch you carefully during and after the administration of oprelvekin to make sure that you do not experience any allergic reactions. If an allergic reaction occurs it is treatable with medications. Uses For This Medication
  • Many chemotherapy medications can cause a decrease in the number of platelets in your body (thrombocytopenia). Oprelvekin may help to prevent low platelets as well as the need for platelet transfusions by increasing the number of platelets in the body.
  • This medication may also be given for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
  How This Medication Works Oprelvekin is a “thrombopoietic growth factor” or “platelet growth factor”. Oprelvekin is a man-made version of a substance that is naturally produced in your body which may help the bone marrow to make new platelets. Your doctor or healthcare provider will recommend that you have regular blood tests to count the number of platelets in your body. It is important that you follow your doctor or healthcare provider’s instructions about these tests. Benefits of This Medication When chemotherapy medications cause thrombocytopenia, patients may be at an increased risk of bleeding. If your platelet levels become too low, your doctor may need to give you a platelet transfusion. Oprelvekin can help increase the number of platelets in your body and may keep them at normal levels. This helps to decrease the risk of a patient developing serious bleeding and reduces the need for platelet transfusions. Who Should Not Take This Medication You should not take this medication if you:
  • Are allergic to oprelvekin or any of its components
  Precautions to be Aware of Before Taking This Medication

Blood related precautions

This medication may temporarily lower the number of red cells in your blood. This condition results when oprelvekin causes your body to retain fluid and is called dilutional anemia (and is a bit different than true anemia). This condition usually begins within three to five days of starting oprelvekin, and is reversible once the medication is stopped. If your red blood cell level becomes too low, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend that your treatment be delayed, that you receive a red blood cell transfusion, and/or you receive a medication to help increase the red cells in your blood. Organ related precautions
  • This medication is cleared from the body by the kidneys. In patients with severe kidney problems, oprelvekin may not be cleared from the body as well. This can lead to high levels of this medication in the body and a greater chance of side effects. If you have any kidney problems before starting this medication, make sure that you tell your doctor or healthcare provider so that he or she can watch you carefully for possible problems or side effects.
  • This medication can cause your heart to have an abnormal rhythm (heart beat). The risk of developing this problem may be increased in patients who already have a heart rhythm abnormality. Your doctor or healthcare provider will check your heart regularly while you are on this medication to make sure that your heart is working properly. In addition, you should let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you experience symptoms such as chest pain, fainting, dizziness, or heart palpitations (fluttering or pounding of heart).
  • Rarely, this medication has been reported to cause papilledema, which is swelling around the optic nerve in the eye. Symptoms may include blurred vision or blindness. If you already have papilledema, you should be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know since treatment with oprelvekin can worsen this condition.
  Administration related precautions Oprelvekin should begin within 6 to 24 hours after receiving chemotherapy. Miscellaneous precautions
  • This medication can cause you to retain water which can result in swelling of the legs and ankles, shortness of breath, fluid in the lungs, abnormal heart rhythm (heart beat), and capillary leak syndrome (a serious condition that causes fluid and protein from inside small blood vessels, called capillaries, to leak out into the tissues and muscles, which can lead to swelling in the abdomen and accumulation of fluid in the space around the lungs and in the space around the heart). Water retention is usually reversible within several days after discontinuing oprelvekin. However, you may be at an increased risk of complications from water retention if you already have congestive heart failure or other medical conditions (such as pleural effusions) which may be made worse by water retention. Your doctor or healthcare provider will weigh you regularly and check you for water retention. In addition, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you experience sudden weight gain, shortness of breath, or other signs of fluid build-up such as swollen legs or feet.
  • Rarely, stroke has been reported in patients who develop heart rhythm abnormalities, such as atrial fibrillation or flutter while receiving oprelvekin. This risk may be increased in patients who have a history of stroke. Be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you have ever had a stroke in the past, or currently have a heart rhythm abnormality (atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter).
  • Do not receive any immunizations (vaccinations) while on this medication without your doctor or healthcare provider’s approval. This medication can increase your risk of infection. For certain immunizations, you may develop the infection that the immunization is intended to prevent.
  Patient specific precautions
  • It is not known if this medication is safe and effective in children, but it has been used in a small number of clinical trials in children.
  Pregnancy and breastfeeding precautions When taking this medication, you should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Tell your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you or your spouse/partner becomes pregnant since this medication may cause fetal harm. It is not known whether this medication is found or excreted in breast milk. Since many medications are excreted in breast milk and because this medication can cause serious harmful reactions in infants, breastfeeding should be avoided. Many anti-cancer therapies can cause sterility. Notify your doctor or healthcare provider if you want to have children in the future. Medication and Food Interactions Before using this medication, tell your doctor or healthcare provider of all prescription or over-the- counter products you are taking, including dietary supplements or vitamins, herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies. Do not start or stop any medication without your doctor or healthcare provider’s approval.
  • There are no known interactions with this medication.
  Side Effects
  • All medications can cause side effects. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In addition, other side effects not listed can also occur in some patients. You should call your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns while you are on this medication.
  • You should contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any side effect(s) which don’t go away, worsen, are serious in nature, or are worrisome to you.
 

More common side effects

Mild swelling of the legs and ankles (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication) Injection site reactions, swelling or bruising that does not go away after an injection Difficulty breathing

Less common side effects

Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication) Red eyes

Rare side effects

This is not a complete list of the rare side effects reported with oprelvekin. For a complete list, please talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about reviewing a copy of the package insert
  • Sores in mouth
  • Fluid in the lungs (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Decreased red blood cell levels (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Oral thrush (yeast infection in mouth)
  • Capillary leak syndrome (a condition in which fluid leaks out of tiny blood vessels and can cause sudden decrease in blood pressure, as well as organ damage)
  • Kidney problems (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Allergic reactions (see Warning)
  • Stroke (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Eye problems, blurry vision, blindness (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  How To Take This Medication
  • This medication is usually given by an injection under the skin (subcutaneous or SC injection). • If you or a family member are giving or receiving the oprelvekin injection at home, you should review the detailed information provided by the drug manufacturer on this subject. Read this information carefully and make sure that you understand how to prepare the injection, how to properly use the disposable syringes, and how to give the injection. If you have any questions about this information, check with your doctor or healthcare provider.
  • When this medication is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous), there are four common areas where injections may be given:
  • The outer area of your upper arms
  • The abdomen, except for the two inch area around your navel
  • The front of your middle thighs
  • The upper outer areas of your buttocks
  • It is best to rotate the areas where the injection is given to avoid soreness. It is best to avoid giving an injection in areas that are tender, red, bruised, hard, or that contain scars or stretch marks.
  • In the unlikely event of an overdose of this medication contact your doctor, your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, or emergency services immediately.
  Proper Storage
  • Unopened containers should be stored in the refrigerator. Keep the bottle out of the light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep the used syringes and needles in a special container. Do not throw the containers in household trash. Ask your provider how to dispose of the full container.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children or pets.
  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to dispose of any medication that you no longer use.