Oprelvekin is used to prevent severe thrombocytopenia (a condition characterised by a low platelet count) and helps reduce the need for platelet transfusion after certain chemotherapy treatments.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or a caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use Oprelvekin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
How to use this medicine:
- Ensure that you receive all the supplies that you need (e.g. alcohol wipes, cotton balls, syringe, needle, puncture proof container).
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Flip off the protective cap of Oprelvekin bottle. Wipe the rubber stopper with a sterile alcohol wipe.
- Hold the bottle of Oprelvekin with one hand. Use the other hand to push the needle of the pre-filled syringe containing sterile water for injection, through the middle of the rubber stopper. Carefully aim the needle to the side of the bottle and slowly press the plunger of the syringe. Take the needle out of the rubber stopper after injecting all of the sterile water for injection.
- Gently swirl the bottle until all the Oprelvekin powder has dissolved. Do not shake the bottle. The fluid inside the bottle should be clear, colourless, and free from visible particles.
- Hold the bottle of dissolved Oprelvekin upside down with one hand. Use the other hand to hold and push the needle of the syringe through the bottle rubber stopper. Gently pull the plunger until the you collected the prescribed amount of medicine.
- This medicine is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the abdomen, thigh, hip or upper arm). Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1 inch away from the previous injection site. Do not inject onto areas of your skin that are red, bruised, tender, hard or not intact.
- Wipe the injection site with alcohol swabs and let it dry.
- Gently pinch the skin at the injection site with one hand and pick up the syringe with other hand. Insert the needle in the pinched area of the skin at a 45-degree angle using a dart-like motion. Release the pinched skin after the needle is completely inserted. Push the plunger all the way down until all the solution is injected.
- Slowly release the needle and gently pull it out of the skin. Place a cotton ball over the injection site and press for 3 to 5 seconds.
- Dispose your used needles and syringes according to your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Do not throw away in household trash.
If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
The dose of Oprelvekin will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of the treatment depending on your condition.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any dose. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Oprelvekin.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
If you or a caregiver had been trained to administer this medicine and missed a dose, skip the missed dose and resume with the next scheduled dose.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not use Oprelvekin after a high-dose chemotherapy that involves the bone marrow.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- heart problems e.g. heart failure, irregular or abnormal heartbeat
- eye problems
- tumour involving the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. You may need to have routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, electrolyte and fluid balance status, platelet count, kidney function test). Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
Oprelvekin may cause dizziness, temporary loss of consciousness or some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, joint pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction e.g. swelling of the face, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, swallowing or talking, shortness of breath, rashes, itching, flushing, fever
- signs and symptoms of having a fluid in your lungs or heart e.g. rapid weight gain over a few days, swelling of the hands, legs or feet
- chest pain, palpitation (pounding, skipping or fast heartbeat)
- any changes in your eyesight e.g. blurred vision
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any diuretic (water pill).
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8 °C. Do not allow to freeze. If frozen, this medicine will become ineffective and should not be used.
Keep away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.