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Pegasys

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Pegasys

PEGASYS®
(peginterferon alfa-2a) Solution for Subcutaneous Injection

WARNING

RISK OF SERIOUS DISORDERS

Alpha interferons, including PEGASYS (peginterferon alfa-2a), may cause or aggravate fatal or life-threatening neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, ischemic, and infectious disorders. Patients should be monitored closely with periodic clinical and laboratory evaluations. Therapy should be withdrawn in patients with persistently severe or worsening signs or symptoms of these conditions. In many, but not all cases, these disorders resolve after stopping PEGASYS therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS and Nonclinical Toxicology].

DRUG DESCRIPTION

PEGASYS, peginterferon alfa-2a, is a covalent conjugate of recombinant alfa-2a interferon (approximate molecular weight [MW] 20,000 daltons) with a single branched bis-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (PEG) chain (approximate MW 40,000 daltons). The PEG moiety is linked at a single site to the interferon alfa moiety via a stable amide bond to lysine. Peginterferon alfa­2a has an approximate molecular weight of 60,000 daltons. Interferon alfa-2a is produced using recombinant DNA technology in which a cloned human leukocyte interferon gene is inserted into and expressed in Escherichia coli.

PEGASYS is a sterile, preservative-free, colorless to light yellow injectable solution administered subcutaneously.

Each vial of 180 mcg/mL peginterferon alfa-2a (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a) also contains acetic acid (0.05 mg), benzyl alcohol (10 mg), polysorbate 80 (0.05 mg), sodium acetate trihydrate (2.62 mg), and sodium chloride (8 mg) at pH 6 ± 0.5.

Each prefilled syringe of 180 mcg/0.5 mL peginterferon alfa-2a (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a) also contains acetic acid (0.0231 mg), benzyl alcohol (5 mg), polysorbate 80 (0.025 mg), sodium acetate trihydrate (1.3085 mg), and sodium chloride (4 mg) at pH 6 ± 0.5.

Each Autoinjector containing 180 mcg/0.5 mL peginteferon alfa-2a (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a), also contains acetic acid (0.0231 mg), benzyl alcohol (5 mg), polysorbate 80 (0.025 mg), sodium acetate trihydrate (1.3085 mg), and sodium chloride (4 mg) at pH 6 ± 0.5.

Each Autoinjector containing 135 mcg/0.5 mL peginteferon alfa-2a (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a), also contains acetic acid (0.0231 mg), benzyl alcohol (5 mg), polysorbate 80 (0.025 mg), sodium acetate trihydrate (1.3085 mg), and sodium chloride (4 mg) at pH 6 ± 0.5.

Because the autoinjectors are designed to deliver the full content, autoinjectors should only be used for patients who need the full dose (180 or 135 mcg). If the required dose is not available in an autoinjector, prefilled syringes, or vials should be used to administer the required dose. The autoinjector is for subcutaneous administration only.

What are the possible side effects of peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys, Pegasys ProClick Autoinjector)?

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 this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • confusion, severe depression, thoughts of hurting yourself or others;
  • unusual thoughts or behaviors, feeling anxious or aggressive;
  • sudden weakness, loss of balance or coordination, or problems with speech;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pegasys »

What are the precautions when taking peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?

See also Warning section.

Before using peginterferon alfa-2a, 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.

This medication 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 taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression), low blood counts (e.g., red cells, white cells, or platelets), heart...

Read All Potential Precautions of Pegasys »

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/18/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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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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