Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

US Brand Name

  1. Neumega


Oprelvekin is a synthetic (man-made) version of a substance called interleukin-11. Naturally occurring interleukin-11 is produced by bone marrow cells in the body and helps to make platelets, which are necessary for proper clotting of blood. Oprelvekin is used to help prevent low platelet counts caused by treatment with some cancer medicines.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Oprelvekin has caused joint and tendon problems in animals and there is a possibility it could also cause these effects in children receiving it. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.


This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Congestive heart failure—May be worsened because oprelvekin causes the body to retain water
  • Atrial arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems)—This medicine may cause heart rhythm problems
  • Fluid build-up in the abdomen or lungs—May be worsened by oprelvekin
  • Myeloablative chemotherapy— May lead to serious side effects

Proper Use

If you are injecting this medicine yourself, each package of oprelvekin will contain a patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:

  • How to prepare the injection.
  • Proper use of disposable syringes.
  • How to give the injection.
  • How long the injection is stable.

If you have any questions about any of this, check with your health care professional.

This medicine works best if it is given at the same time every day.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

The side effects listed below include only those that might be caused by oprelvekin. To find out about other side effects that may be caused by the cancer medicines you are also receiving, see the information about those medicines.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Fast heartbeat
  2. fluid retention
  3. irregular heartbeat
  4. shortness of breath
  5. sore mouth or tongue
  6. swelling of feet or lower legs
  7. white patches in mouth and/or on tongue

Less common

  1. Bloody eye
  2. blurred vision
  3. severe redness and peeling of skin

Incidence not determined

  1. bleeding
  2. blistering
  3. bloody urine
  4. blurred vision
  5. burning
  6. change in ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  7. cloudy urine
  8. coldness
  9. cough
  10. decrease or increase in amount of urine
  11. difficulty swallowing
  12. discoloration of skin
  13. dizziness
  14. fainting or lightheadedness
  15. fast heartbeat
  16. feeling of pressure
  17. hives
  18. increased blood pressure
  19. increased thirst
  20. infection
  21. inflammation
  22. itching
  23. loss of appetite
  24. lower back/side pain
  25. lumps
  26. nausea
  27. numbness
  28. pain
  29. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes face, lips or tongue
  30. rash
  31. redness
  32. scarring
  33. shortness of breath
  34. skin rash
  35. soreness
  36. stinging
  37. stomach pain;
  38. swelling
  39. tenderness
  40. tightness in chest
  41. tingling
  42. troubled breathing
  43. ulceration
  44. unusual tiredness or weakness
  45. vomiting
  46. warmth at site
  47. weight gain
  48. wheezing
More common
  1. Heart rhythm problems

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Red eyes
  2. weakness

Less common

  1. Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  2. skin discoloration
  3. skin rash at place of injection

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.