This Sticker Automatically Injects Meds When a Chemo Patient Can't

Illustration for article titled This Sticker Automatically Injects Meds When a Chemo Patient Cant

Chemotherapy is a brutal but often life-saving treatment for an even worse disease. It can also reduce a patient's white blood cell count, which hinders the body's ability to fight off infections. Injections of Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) can help boost white blood cells, if given exactly a day later. That's where this sticker comes in handy.

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To ensure those injections are given a full 27 hours after chemotherapy, this sticker, applied after treatment, automatically injects the necessary dosage exactly when needed.

The side effects of chemotherapy are notoriously unpleasant, and having to immediately return to a doctor's office for a shot while a patient is trying to recover isn't easy. So Amgen, the company who manufactures Neulasta, created this stick-on injector that allows chemotherapy patients to automatically receive the necessary injection while they're comfortably recovering at home. It also means there are less patients filling a clinic's waiting room who are just there for a simple shot.

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The Neulasta injector does need to be applied to a patient by a medical professional. It uses a small needle inserted under the skin for the medication to be properly delivered—it's not just a sticker. But it can be applied and prepped while a patient is still at the clinic receiving their chemotherapy. After the injection it can presumably be easily removed by the patient, or their caregiver, without the need for further medical intervention. So it saves them from having to make the trip to a doctor while they're feeling awful, which helps make the treatment slightly more bearable.

[Amgen via medGadget]

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DISCUSSION

bristolgarryagain
BristolGarry

Been there done that. Chemo sucks ass, but nothing hurt worse than the Neupogen. I had essentially NO white cells due to chemo, and at the time, I was working in a nursing home - not exactly a place to have no immune system. The Neupogen FORCED my body to create white cells, and it hurt like hell. You know the feeling when you get a cold and your hips and shoulders ache like you are 90 years old? Magnify that by a factor of 10, and you will have a sense of what it feels like to be on a drug that makes your bones scream producing white cells - imagine being kicked in the lower back and shoulders by a donkey, every week for the better part of 6 months. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to reduce the pain - Ibuprofen does not work on that pathway, and you cannot take aspirin as chemo itself is already a blood thinner (I found this out the hard way). Long, extremely hot soaking baths were the only thing that eased my pain. The only other alternative was opiates, but I had to function. I truly hope that this new drug does not cause those side effect. :/