Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) is highly effective in reducing the rate of febrile neutropenia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, this medication won’t be right for everyone. In these cases, doctors and patients should discuss Neulasta alternatives.
What are your options when it comes to alternatives for Neulasta?
Neupogen is the trade name for filgrastim, another type of bone marrow stimulant like Neulasta. The two medications differ in that pegfilgrastim is the PEGylated form of filgrastim. As such, Neulasta has a much longer half-life and can deliver similar effects over a longer period of time. That means patients will only need one or two shots of pegfilgrastim every cycle between chemotherapy sessions. By contrast, patients require multiple, sometimes daily shots for neupogen, for a period of time in between chemotherapy sessions.
Which option is best for the patient depends on several factors, and should be discussed with a doctor.
Zarxio is the trade name for filgrastim-sndz. It is a biosimilar to filgrastim, which means it works the same way, is taken the same way, is as potent as and has the same dosages as Neupogen. The primary difference between the two is price. Specifically, Zarxio is typically cheaper in the United States than Neupogen.
Fulphila (pegfilgrastim-jmdb) is a biosimilar to Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), which means these two drugs are effectively interchangeable. The largest difference between the two is price, with Fulphila typically being cheaper than Neulasta, although prices can vary depending on factors like insurance and rebates.