PEGINTERFERON ALFA-2a (peg in ter FEER on AL fa 2 a) is a man-made drug that acts like a protein made by the body. It is used to treat chronic hepatitis B and C infections.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
blood or bleeding disorders
colitis like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
depression or other mental disorders
drug abuse or addiction
history of cancer
an unusual or allergic reaction to peginterferon, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives like benzyl alcohol
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
This medicine is for injection under the skin. Do NOT shake this medicine. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 5 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
If you miss a dose and you remember within 2 days of when you missed your dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is late in the day, wait until the next day to take your dose. If more than 2 days have passed since you missed your dose ask your doctor what to do. Do not take double or extra doses.
medicines for HIV like didanosine, lamivudine, stavudine, zidovudine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need regular blood checks.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
change in blood sugar
changes in vision
confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
fast, irregular heartbeat
high blood pressure
increased anger, depression, irritability, or thoughts of suicide
pain in lower back or stomach
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
dry, itchy skin
loss of appetite
nausea, stomach upset
pain or swelling at site where injected
unusually weak or tired
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Do not leave this medicine out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.