← Return to Use of Neupogen (or similar) prior to minor surgery

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@rrivory

I've never taken it before – thankfully I haven't had to take any medications or treatments yet (diagnosed 7/2020). My gut says wait, but I don't know if that's just that fear of the unknown LOL. And your second question is exactly what I am struggling with! If it weren't for having to take the Neupogen, I would definitely be doing it now.

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Replies to "I've never taken it before - thankfully I haven't had to take any medications or treatments..."

Do you remember the good old days when our big decisions were, “OH i have a coupon for Tide but I really like Gain…ugh..what should I do?” Now we have these life altering decisions about medications that can impact our already affected bone marrow. As my hematologist and are are used to joking…Life is a blast until you find them in your blood. 🙄

Ok well, let’s just talk this through. You’d go ahead with the elective surgery if you didn’t have to be on a medication to avoid an infection. Your gut is saying no to the drug, not to the surgery. By the very nature of your blood disease whenever you face this surgery, it will require special treatment.

As you know, with MDS, the body doesn’t make enough blood. In your case, neutrophils are lacking. They’re the infection fighters. As the disease progresses, it often requires transfusions or blood products to stay healthy. Nulastin or Neupogen can also be given to simulate bone marrow to produce more blood cells. So it’s not out of the ordinary for MDS patients to be given this product when they need a boost in their blood production. The Nulastin is a better way of doing it as it won’t run your ferritin level way up the way blood transfusions can.

From my experience with super low neutrophils, it’s my thought if you did opt for surgery, along with the blood boosting meds, you’d also likely be given heavy doses of antibiotics before and after surgery. Because your neutrophils levels are so low the antibiotics provide you within an artificial immune system to help you through as a precaution and to bolster your weakened immune system.

How major is the surgery? is it laparoscopic or a major surgery?
If your MDS progresses and the surgery become necessary instead of elective, does this become a greater risk to you? Will it become more complicated physically?
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I’m also just tossing in as an FYI. 😉 I’ve had Neulasta 3 times. One dose after each of hefty Chemo treatments for AML.
Neulasta is one injection only, after a chemo regimen is over, to boost the white blood count in people who have low neutrophils. It’s pricey! But once and done and should see you through surgery and recovery.
Neupogen is similar in its ability to raise the neutrophils but it is given over longer periods of time…and cost less.
I’ll tell you upfront if you get either of these treatments, have Claritin antihistamines in your house! (Not Claritin-D) You’ll want to take one the same day and continuing for at least 7-10 days after the dose. It’s a pretty common and recommended preemptive treatment to the bone pain which can happen with either of the medications.

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