See also Warning section.
Before using peginterferon alfa-2b, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to polyethylene glycol (PEG); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: other severe liver disease (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, hepatic decompensation).
Before using Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression), history of drug/alcohol abuse, sleep problems, low blood counts (e.g., red cells, white cells, or platelets), heart disease, thyroid problems, autoimmune disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis), eye problems, kidney disease, lung disease (e.g., COPD, asthma, pneumonia), cancer, inflammation of the bowels (e.g., colitis), pancreatitis, diabetes, other infections (HIV, hepatitis B), high blood triglyceride levels, history of organ transplant.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor.
Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured.
Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg, especially mental mood changes (such as severe depression, thoughts/attempts of suicide). Weight loss and slowed growth may occur during treatment; however, normal weight gain and rate of growth usually return after treatment is completed.
Caution is advised when using Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg is not recommended for use during pregnancy because of possible serious harm to the unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control. It is recommended that men and women using Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg use birth control measures while being treated with Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg and for the 6 months after treatment has stopped. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.
It is unknown if Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store the pen in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C). Store the vials at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Each vial or pen can be used only once. Discard any unused portion. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
After mixing, if not used immediately, the medication may be stored in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) for up to 24 hours. Do not freeze.
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.
Peginterferon alfa-2b is used alone or in combination with ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver.
Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg reduces the amount of hepatitis C virus in the body and helps the body's immune system fight the infection. It is not known if peginterferon can cure hepatitis C virus infections (permanently eliminate the virus from your body). It is also not known if Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg 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.
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using peginterferon alfa-2b and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Inject Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg under the skin (subcutaneously) on your thigh, the outer surface of your upper arm, or stomach 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 Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg. Doing so may decrease the effectiveness of Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg. The dose should be given at about the same time on the same day each week. The dosage is based on your body weight, laboratory tests, medical condition and response to therapy.
If you are giving Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg 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.
Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg, unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Additional administration guidelines may be available in the Medication Guide.
Flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, joint pain, nausea, stomach pain) may occur. If instructed to do so, taking pain/fever-reducing medications (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen) or injecting Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg at bedtime may help reduce some of these symptoms. Dry mouth, increased sweating, loss of appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, diarrhea, dry skin, redness/swelling at the injection site, throat/sinus infections, or menstrual period problems 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 Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg 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, increased thirst/urination, unusually slow/fast/pounding heartbeat, severe stomach pain with nausea/vomiting, bloody diarrhea, numbness/tingling of arms/legs.
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, vision changes (such as blurred vision, partial loss of vision), seizures, one-sided weakness.
Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg 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, suicidal thoughts, unusual irritability, or aggressive behavior. If this occurs, psychiatric therapy and monitoring is recommended during and after treatment with Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg.
A very serious allergic reaction to Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: 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.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Click here to view a more detailed list of Pegintron side effects.
If you miss a dose of Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg, take the missed dose as soon as possible during the same day or the next day, then continue on your regular dosing schedule. If several days go by after you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with Pegintron (Peginterferon Alfa 2B) 150mcg include: hydroxyurea, lamivudine, methadone, stavudine, telbivudine, theophylline, zidovudine.