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Need Neupogen
Glory22
24 Posts
So I finished my first chemo treatment last week and was happy that I was feeling good. Had minimal side effects. Today went for my routine lab work and found out that my white blood cell count and neutrafil are dangerously low. They sent me home and told me to mask up 24/7 and stay away from people as much as possible until they can get my insurance to approve Neupogen which is very costly. My doctor is hoping to start me tomorrow on the first injection.

Anyone else have this same experience? How were the injections? Did they work quickly to boost your WBCs?
20 Replies
Boby1511
521 Posts

@Glory22

Hi there,

I had lapelga, which is also a white count booster injection. Stuff hurts. Takes from the bone marrow. All my joints hurt. Plus I slept about 20 hours a day for a couple days. Not nice stuff at all. Guessing it worked as my counts did improve. I too was neutropenic. Think its fairly common on some chemo. Hospitalized me as I also had a fever which can mean infection.

Sending you best wishes as you continue treatment.

S2020
496 Posts
Hi Glory22‍,

I am glad to read you felt good after the first infusion last week with minimal side effects. I hope the Neupogen was approved and you are getting your first injection today, as indicated in your post, so you can continue with your treatment plan.

Like Boby1511‍, I have also had Lapelga injections. I was given a prescription for it before chemo started last year and I was told to start using it after my first infusion.

As Boby1511‍ indicated, the medication is known to cause pain for some patients. The oncology pharmacist at the clinic approved Claritin without the D on the label-one pill the night before the injection and another pill two hours before the injection. Very helpful for me, but does not work for everyone. If not helpful, the pharmacist said there are prescription medications available to help with the pain.

Speak with the oncology pharmacist at your clinic to confirm there are no contraindications for the Claritin (without the D) or whatever medication he/she recommends for possible pain.

When will you have another blood test? I am wishing you the best possible outcomes with your treatments. We’re here to support you as you go through this!
Glory22
24 Posts
Still waiting for insurance to approve (couldn't get precertification because of the weekend). Today my body aches (almost like if you had the flu), so just spent most of the day resting. They did advise me to take Claritin once I get started on the Neupogen injections and continue to take for several days after the last injection (series of 3). I feel like every possible problem that could happen on my cancer journey I am encountering, but am leaving it in God's hands. 2 weeks ago they said that my CA125 went from 340 (prior to my hysterectomy and debulking to low 60s...I hope for some positive news this week that it has gone lower.

Appreciate prayers and thank you all in this community for your support and sharing your experiences with me.
Eddie
15 Posts

I had LaPelga 24 hours after chemo, I didn't notice a difference in the way I felt. You will always have a certain amount of pain. I had chemo, immunotherapy and Lapelga at the same time.

Runner Girl
2044 Posts

@Glory22

I had Neulasta after chemo to increase my white cell counts. I was advised to take claritin with it however claritin does nothing for me so I was allowed to take reactine instead, it helps keep the bone pain to a minimum.

The Neulasta was quite pricy. My insurance covered 80% and the drug maker covered the other 20% so I didn't have to pay anything.

I hope you can get approval soon.

Runner Girl

Hopepray
3 Posts

The injection does increase your WBC. The pain in joint is bad for some Claritin may work.for me it didn’t.the second injection I have to take narcotics I don’t like taking but a dr friend suggested I should don’t waste energy on fighting pain pain level was 11🤑 .slept good yesterday. I think if it start will take narcotic.Takecare.

SarahDawn
42 Posts

Hi Glory22,

I had neulasta and thankfully was covered by my husband benefits. It cost $2985.00 per injection. I live in Ontario and when the oncology nurse spoke to me from Sudbury, she said if our benefits would not cover it, to let them know at Health Sciences North Cancer Centre and they would give me a specific card (can't recall the name) to pay for the injection. Please check with your oncology team to see if this is something that would be available to you wherever you are. Wishing you the best.

Glory22
24 Posts
Had my first injection yesterday and it went well. Haven't had any reaction or bad pain. Took Tylenol arthritis (8hr) and Claritin as recommended by the doctor. Going for my 2nd injection in a few hours.

They got approval for me to get the Neulastra Onpro injector patch going forward with my next chemo.

I also found out that my CA-125 has dropped to 23!!!!! I am so happy. Praise God ❤️🙏 I really needed some good news. They said this is a sign that my ovarian cancer surgery and first chemo treatment worked.
Glory22
24 Posts
Just wanted to thank you all for your comments and feedback on this thread. It really helps to hear from others what experiences you had. Sending love and prayers to you all as well. ❤️
elle29
595 Posts

What is the drug ? Why don’t others have this consideration . No , no, and NO !

  • I am refused this based on costs , being costly here . Told by 2 Oncos & not protocol ‘ I get treatments in my 9 th cycle .
  • My Neutrophils twice have gone lower to O.8 to O.6 . Instead they took me off medication treatment , not happy . When my cancer has been reducing being stage 4 MSB . Consider your self very fortunate your being additionally treated for low neuts and being paid for , with help in options .
  • Plus my GPO does not tell me to go home . avoid crowds or will be acted on . But wait 5 days , now was 2 weeks do another blood lab . I have had my one arm 3 x in less then a week jabbed . Life Lab they do not have the right requisition the doctor sent .And basically said it’s not their problem there doing what’s needed at their end .
  • Thinking what if I end up in hosp. Emerge with critically LOW # Neutriphils into Neutropenia . So will they refuse me this booster medication ?

@Lianne_Moderator What can I do ? We provincially , do not have ON Universal Health Care Coverage Worried & Miffed Elle29

ACH2015
2126 Posts

@elle29

Previously I suggested you contact your MPP, and MP. Has this happened? If not I suggest you do so toward getting some outside assistance.

Have you plead your case to the hospital administration? The head of the oncology department? The hospital ombudsman? All of these resources may be of assistance in getting you the drugs at lower or no cost.

Get hold of the hospital contact information and seek out these contacts. Networking is our friend when we are faced with these obstacles.

Hope this helps and gets you results you need.

ACH2015

@elle29

It sounds like a good conversation with your oncologist is in order. There may be a reason why your specific case doesn't warrent those kind of drugs but if it is strictly a cost situation, there are avenues that your oncologist can take.

When I took Neulasta, the drug company was going to cover the majority of the cost if my employee insurance plan didn't cover it. But they did. Having said that, I had such a terrible reaction to it that I didn't take another one after it.

If the options I mentioned don't work for you, @ACH2015 has given you some other next steps too.

Wishing you well

Lianne

elle29
595 Posts

No have to deal with MSP first .

elle29
595 Posts

@Lianne_Moderator GPO said it was not part of my treatment, protocol.

Hello @elle29

Ok that sounds like it falls under my point above “ There may be a reason why your specific case doesn't warrent those kind of drugs ”

If that is the case, it sounds like it is important for you to understand why and maybe that is a good conversation to have with your GPO

Take care

Lianne

Eddie
15 Posts

What are MSPs and GPOs?

elle29
595 Posts

@Lianne_Moderator @Runner Girl @ACH2015 Good News : the Social Worker from hospital made a booking to fill a special form for coverage for one of those 3 booster drugs for WBCs .Q: How long did it take to feel better .
I see the costs and if u r getting this 4-5 x a week that a lot of money , when I have no provincial or private benefits . So I am hoping for coverage . With 2months low neutriphils is a long time and not recovering going lower . . ..

Since Election the pple to contact as MPs , MPPs have changed ! Ie Manly voted out of his riding although still be a Green MP . Oh but the word here is the Greens are going more Urban Appeal . Not small towns .

Thanks for all your feed back. .Energy not the same especially after eating . I work a bit then rest , especially been gorgeous sunny warm fall .

Motivating myself having been so fatigued , to now tired is a challenge to get into that routine . And not knowing if the Neuts , have fallen again , to be more active accomplish back to a new active routine . Ie Some form of exercise . But go outside alone , get on trike with dog go riding .By just small steps down my street though wanting to go further . I no longer push it . My daughter suggests taking food with me on the basket in the back .

Sorry if I sound winey but it like having a hang over all the time (. Not that I do that but sapped energy 🥀 real',lack of motivation ,and I am fairly self disciplined . Struggle to just accept what it is . ) Such a drag even though they lowered my treatment meds .
Big Question : I wonder how long it takes for Neutriphils to drop or restore go back up ? I am so tired but have lots to do ,need to get moving more . And will phone Parks and Rec to pop into group activity to view if suitable . But really prefer to swim . Take care .

ACH2015
2126 Posts

Hi @elle29

Thanks for sharing the good news with us. Sometimes we are our best advocates in sourcing the drugs / treatments / answers we need as patients. I've never taken the NEUPOGEN myself, so I don't know how long it takes to restore the WBC and energy. I am sure others will share.

Keep well and keep advocating. It works!

ACH2015

Runner Girl
2044 Posts

@elle29

I had Neulasta not Neupogen, but I believe they are similar.

3 days after my chemo infusion I would self inject the neulasta, taking it with an antihistamine to lessen the side effects. It is painful. It makes your bone marrow in the big bones work overtime. I would feel it in my upper back and then it settled into my hip bone area. Much pain and discomfort for several days after the shot. The pain was an indication that it was doing what it was supposed to.

Runner Girl

Good news indeed @elle29

As to how long till you feel better, I think that is likely an individual experience, just like our cancer .

In my case, as I believe I mentioned before, I had a terrible ( and apparently very unusual ) reaction to the shot (neulasta) so I never felt better and never had another shot. I just waited for the WBC to elevate again naturally.

Wishing you well with this.

Lianne

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