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Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Interferon Alfa (2a) Pegasys™ Adult

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - What is it for

​Chronic Hepatitis B, Chronic Hepatitis C, certain blood disorders to reduce the production of blood cells by the bone marrow.

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a cause?

Appears within hours to days after taking interferon

  1. Flu-like symptoms (fever, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue)
  2. Weakness
  3. Bone pain
  4. Psychiatric problems (subtle mood changes or a depressed mood that may affect a person's emotional state and social life)
  5. Occasional patients may experience major depression
  6. Skin reactions – injection site reactions; red, itchy rash

Appears within weeks to years after taking interferon

  1. Nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea
  2. Hair loss
  3. Autoimmune disorders e.g. thyroid problems
  4. Abnormal liver function blood test results

Stop taking interferon and consult your doctor if you develop the following problems:

  1. Severe depression (significant low mood, thoughts of hurting yourself)
  2. Severe abdominal pain
  3. High fever (>38°C)
  4. Abnormal bleeding or bruising
  5. Changes in your vision
  6. Chest pain or breathlessness

Before taking Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a , what precautions must I follow?

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a ?

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - Dosage and How to Use

How should Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a be used?

Interferon comes in pre-filled syringes. How it is given:

  1. Clean a selected area of skin (usually on the abdomen or thighs) with an alcohol swab
  2. Pinch the cleaned area and insert the needle of the syringe at a 45° angle with the bevel (sloping tip of the needle) facing up
  3. Depress the plunger to the required amount and pull out the needle 
  4. Dispose the needle and syringe immediately after injection into a sturdy glass or hard plastic container and keep away from children
  5. It is important to change the site each time you inject interferon

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it has been more than two days, contact your doctor for advice. The next dose should be given according to your normal schedule. Do not take extra doses to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - Handling

How should I handle Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a safely?

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - Storage

How should I store Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a ?

;#Keep away from children;#Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.;#Protect from light;#

How should I dispose of Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a safely?

Pegylated Interferon alpha-2a - Additional Information

​If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor. If you wish to breastfeed, the pros and cons should be discussed with your doctor. Although interferon is excreted in breastmilk, the levels of interferon in breastfed babies whose mothers are on interferon are not increased.

  • Updated on 5/15/2019 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by Singapore General Hospital
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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