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IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
PEGINTERFERON ALFA-2A - INJECTION
(peg-IN-ter-FEER-on AL-fa too-ay)
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pegasys
WARNING: This medication may cause or worsen some serious medical conditions, including psychiatric conditions (e.g., depression); immune disorders (autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus); circulation problems (e.g., cardiovascular disease); or infections (bone marrow suppression). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any serious symptoms or side effects (see Side Effects section). These conditions occur infrequently, but some may be fatal.
This medicine is frequently combined with ribavirin. Ribavirin may cause harm to an unborn baby or death. Women must avoid pregnancy while they or their male partners are using ribavirin. Ribavirin may cause a blood disorder (hemolytic anemia), which can worsen heart disease. If you are using peginterferon alfa-2a with ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C, also carefully read the drug information for ribavirin.
USES: Peginterferon alfa-2a is used alone or in combination with ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver. It may also be used in combination with ribavirin and a protease inhibitor to treat chronic hepatitis C. Peginterferon alfa-2a is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B infection.
This medication 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 this drug 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.
HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using peginterferon alfa-2a and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Inject this medication under the skin (subcutaneously) on your stomach or thigh, 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 this medication. Doing so may decrease the effectiveness of this medication. The dose should be given at about the same time on the same day each week. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking this medication unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Additional administration guidelines may be available in the Medication Guide.
If you are giving this medication 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.
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