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Peg-Intron Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: PegIntron, PegIntron Redipen, Sylatron

Generic Name: peginterferon alfa-2b (Pronunciation: peg in ter FEAR on AL fa 2 b)

What is peginterferon alfa-2b (Peg-Intron)?

Peginterferon alfa-2b is made from human proteins that help the body fight viral infections.

Peginterferon alfa-2b is used to treat chronic hepatitis C in adults. Peginterferon alfa-2b is often used in combination with another medication called ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab) to treat hepatitis C in adults and children who are at least 3 years old.

The Sylatron brand of peginterferon alfa-2b is used to treat melanoma (skin cancer) after surgery.

Peginterferon alfa-2b may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of peginterferon alfa-2b (Peg-Intron)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using peginterferon alfa-2b and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • vision problems;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • high fever with severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea.
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • cough, feeling short of breath, chest pain, uneven heartbeats;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance; or
  • new or worsening liver symptoms (upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, tired feeling;
  • headache, joint or muscle pain;
  • nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • feeling mildly anxious, depressed, or irritable; or
  • pain, redness, swelling, or irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Peg-Intron (peginterferon alfa-2b) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about peginterferon alfa-2b (Peg-Intron)?

You should not use peginterferon alfa-2b if you are allergic to it, or if you have autoimmune hepatitis, severe liver or kidney disease, or a hemoglobin blood cell disorder such as sickle-cell anemia or thalassemia.

Peginterferon alfa-2b is often used together with another medication called ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab), which is known to cause birth defects or death in an unborn baby. Do not use peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your female sexual partner is pregnant.

Before using peginterferon alfa-2b, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially kidney disease, liver problems other than hepatitis, heart disease or high blood pressure, a thyroid disorder, eye problems, HIV or AIDS, ulcerative colitis, a blood cell disorder, an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or psoriasis, or a history of heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, depression, mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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