Chemo Injections

I realise everyone’s treatment is different but is it general practice for people having chemo to have filgrastim injections?

I’ve had 1 dose of EC, poorly all 3 weeks. Overnight stay wk 1 in hospital with antibiotics, wk3 more antibiotics & I couldn’t have my 2nd cycle this week as my levels are too low. I didn’t have any injections my chemo nurse said we like the body to do it itself which I kind of understand. I just wondered if I had the injections would my levels have been up & I may have been better with the chemo?

Hi Yorkie51

Not sure if it is general practice, but suspect it is.  I had 4 x 3 weekly EC and was sent home with Anti sickness meds, steroids (for a couple of days) and 5 daily Filgrastim injections after each chemo session.  Sticking rigidly to all the meds provided each time I didn’t suffer from many side effects and didn’t get any infections.  Moved on to Paclitaxol and both the steroids and Filgrastim injections weren’t given, as not required.  My WBC remained relatively stable throughout all treatment, which suggests that the Filgrastim was required whilst on EC.  You can always get a second opinion regarding the use of Filgrastim.  It seems a little harsh to expect the body to adjust each time when the Filgrastim would mean that you would probably cope better and not end up in hospital, on antibiotics and treatment delayed.  Speak to your Oncologist to get a clearer understanding.  I hope this helps and I hope things get better for you.  Take care.

Hi Yorkie51 

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Hi Yorkie51 

Sounds like you’ve had a difficult time following your first chemo session. 

EC chemotherapy can temporarily effect the number of healthy blood cells in the body. Not having enough white blood cells can increase the risk of getting an infection. Usually, the blood count is lowest around seven to fourteen days after chemotherapy and then increases steadily, often returning to normal before your next cycle of chemotherapy.  If as in your case the cell count has not recovered, the next treatment will be delayed. 

Filgrastim is one of the G-CSF injections that can be given with chemotherapy to encourage your bone marrow to make white blood cells. These injections are not used routinely by all oncologists but may be used more selectively for patients whose white blood counts recover more slowly.  

We cannot say if the filgrastim would have enabled your blood counts to recover more quickly but as MLT21 has suggested it would be a good idea to discuss this further with your oncologist.  

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can match you with a trained volunteer who’s had a similar experience to you. They’ll be a phone call or email away to answer your questions, offer support or simply listen. 

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0114 263 6490 or email them at, so they can then match you to your volunteer.   

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