Plerixafor improves the release of stem cells into the blood stream for collection and subsequent autologous transplantation (procedure in which stem cells are removed from a person, stored, and later given back to that same person) in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the white blood cells) or multiple myeloma (cancer that affects plasma cells in the bone marrow).
Plerixafor should be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin) 6 to 11 hours before apheresis (collection of blood stem cells). You will need to rest in the hospital ward or clinic while you are receiving this medicine.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you.
The dose of Plerixafor will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your condition.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Plerixafor.
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.
Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
Plerixafor is not recommended for use in stem cell mobilisation and collection in people with leukemia (cancer of the blood or bone marrow).
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with this medicine. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Plerixafor.
Do not participate in activities in which you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (e.g. too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
For as long as you are taking Plerixafor, you may need to have regular blood tests (e.g. complete blood count) and kidney function test to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Plerixafor may cause drowsiness or dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
You may also feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position, especially if you are taking this medicine for the very first time. This is common and should improve gradually as you get used to Plerixafor. It will help if you get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, stomach pain, stomach wind, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, excessive sweating, muscle pain, joint pain, and pain, irritation, swelling at the injection site.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- swelling of the face, mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
- difficulty in breathing
- pain in the upper left stomach or left shoulder
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
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 a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
Once opened, use the vial immediately. Throw away any solution that is not used.
Return any unused or expired medicine to your pharmacist, clinic or hospital for disposal.