Brand Names

Leukine (There may be other brand names for this medication)

How is it Administered?

The drug will be either given subcutaneously (injection just beneath your skin) or added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein.

What is it Used For?

This drug is a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). It helps your bone marrow make white blood cells after chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or stem cell transplant.

How Does Sargramostim Work?

Blood cells - platelets, red blood cells (RBCs), and white blood cells (WBCs) - are made in bone marrow (the soft, spongy material found inside bones.) Platelets help your blood to clot, RBCs carry oxygen to and waste products away from your cells, and WBCs help fight infection.

Many cancer therapies interfere with these normal processes and so you may be at high risk for a bleeding problem, anemia, and infection.

Sargramostim is a Colony-Stimulating Factor (CSF). CSFs can help stimulate your body to make more blood cells and then help those new cells to work correctly. CSFs do not attach cancer directly, but may be beneficial by stimulating your own immune system.

Sargramostim stimulates three types of WBCs: neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells. Neutrophils are the first cells to respond a site of infection where it will try to capture and ingest the foreign invader. Macrophages attack the same way but arrive later, stay longer, and have the ability to recognize more types of foreign invaders than neutrophils. Dendritic cells are like roaming monitors; they scout for invaders and is they find one, will send out alert signals to other cells.

This medication can speed up your recovery if your WBC count has been suppressed by cancer treatments. It can also be used to stimulate the production of stem cells before a stem cell transplant or to stimulate the bone marrow cells after a bone marrow transplant.

Continue Reading Detailed Drug Profile