PEGINTERFERON ALFA-2A

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pegasys

GENERIC NAME(S): PEGINTERFERON ALFA-2A

 

Description: Peginterferon alfa-2a are interferon that works by reducing the amount of hepatitis virus in the body.  It also helps in the immune system fight the virus.

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Time to peak (serum): 72-96 hr.

Excretion: Half-life elimination (terminal): 50-160 hr; increased with renal dysfunction.

 

Peginterferon alfa-2a is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat chronic hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. It is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B infection.

 

This medication reduces the amount of hepatitis virus in the body and helps your body’s immune system fight the infection. It is not known if peginterferon can cure hepatitis B or hepatitis C infections or can prevent you from passing the virus to others. Practice “safe sex” (including the use of latex condoms) to lower the risk of passing the virus to others.

 

How to use peginterferon alfa-2a subcutaneous:

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using peginterferon alfa-2a and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

 

Inject this medication under the skin (subcutaneously) on your stomach or thigh, once weekly or as directed by your doctor. Do not inject near the belly button or at the waistline. Use a different place each time you give yourself an injection. Do not shake this medication. Doing so may decrease the effectiveness of this medication. The dose should be given at about the same time on the same day each week. The dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory tests, and response to treatment.

 

Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking this medication unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Additional administration guidelines may be available in the Medication Guide.

 

If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

This medication may cause or worsen some serious medical conditions, including mental/mood problems (such as depression), autoimmune conditions (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), blood vessel problems (such as heart disease), or infections (for example, due to bone marrow suppression). Tell your doctor right away if you develop any serious symptoms or side effects (see Side Effects section). These conditions occur infrequently, but some may be fatal.

 

Pregnancy Risk: Category C (Risk cannot be ruled out)

See also Warning section.

 

Flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain, nausea, stomach pain, cough) may occur. If instructed to do so, you may take pain/fever-reducing medications (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) to help with these symptoms. Dry mouth, loss of appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, dry skin, or redness/swelling at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

 

Tooth and gum problems may sometimes occur during treatment. Having a dry mouth can worsen this side effect. Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water or using a saliva substitute. Brush your teeth well at least twice a day and have regular dental exams. If you experience vomiting during treatment, rinse your mouth afterwards to lessen the chance of tooth and gum problems.

 

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

 

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

 

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: persistent sore throat or fever, easy or unusual bleeding/bruising, unusually severe fatigue, unusually slow/fast/pounding heartbeat, severe stomach pain with nausea/vomiting, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, increased thirst/urination, bloody diarrhea, numbness/tingling of arms/legs.

 

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, vision changes (such as blurred vision, partial loss of vision), seizures, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body.

 

This drug may cause you to develop serious mental/mood changes that may get worse during treatment or after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide or hurting others, unusual irritability, or aggressive behavior. If this occurs, psychiatric therapy and monitoring is recommended during and after treatment with this medication.

 

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

 

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

See also Warning section.

 

Flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain, nausea, stomach pain, cough) may occur. If instructed to do so, you may take pain/fever-reducing medications (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) to help with these symptoms. Dry mouth, loss of appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, dry skin, or redness/swelling at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

 

Tooth and gum problems may sometimes occur during treatment. Having a dry mouth can worsen this side effect. Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water or using a saliva substitute. Brush your teeth well at least twice a day and have regular dental exams. If you experience vomiting during treatment, rinse your mouth afterwards to lessen the chance of tooth and gum problems.

 

Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.

 

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

 

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: persistent sore throat or fever, easy or unusual bleeding/bruising, unusually severe fatigue, unusually slow/fast/pounding heartbeat, severe stomach pain with nausea/vomiting, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, increased thirst/urination, bloody diarrhea, numbness/tingling of arms/legs.

 

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, vision changes (such as blurred vision, partial loss of vision), seizures, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body.

 

This drug may cause you to develop serious mental/mood changes that may get worse during treatment or after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide or hurting others, unusual irritability, or aggressive behavior. If this occurs, psychiatric therapy and monitoring is recommended during and after treatment with this medication.

 

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

 

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Overdose:

 

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

 

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

 

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood counts, thyroid tests, virus levels, kidney/liver function, triglyceride levels, eye exams) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Depending on your medical history, other tests (such as EKG) may be needed. Consult your doctor for more details.

 

Do not change brands of interferon without checking with your doctor or pharmacist. Other interferons may not have the same effects on your disease.

 

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose and you remember within 2 days of when you should have taken the medication, give the injection as soon as remembered. Take your next dose on the day you usually take it. If more than 2 days have passed since your missed dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.

 

Storage

Store in the refrigerator. This medication should not be left outside the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Protect from light. Do not freeze. Each vial or prefilled syringe can be used only once; discard any unused portion. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

 

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

 

Brands:

 

Available Brands:

Pegasys [ Roche ]

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