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Palifermin (By injection)

Palifermin (pal-ee-FER-min)

Prevents or decreases swelling, irritation, sores, or ulcers in the mouth that are caused by cancer treatment.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to palifermin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how palifermin works. Tell your doctor if you are also receiving heparin.
  • You should not receive this medicine during the 24 hours before or after receiving cancer medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may cause other kinds of tumors to grow (not the kind of tumor you are being treated for). Tell your doctor if you have had any other tumor or cancer.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Severe skin rash or redness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes to your sense of touch, tingling in your hands or feet
  • Fever
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Swelling your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Tongue feeling thick, color changes to your tongue, changes to your sense of taste

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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