"What is hepatitis?
The term 'hepatitis' simply means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis may be caused by a virus or a toxin such as alcohol. Other viruses that can cause injury to liver cells include the hepatitis A and hepati"...
Pegasys Patient Information Including Side Effects
Brand Names: Pegasys, Pegasys ProClick Autoinjector
Generic Name: peginterferon alfa-2a (Pronunciation: peg in ter FEER on AL fa 2 a)
- What is peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- What are the possible side effects of peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- What is the most important information I should know about peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- How should I use peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Pegasys)?
- What happens if I overdose (Pegasys)?
- What should I avoid while using peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- What other drugs will affect peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
- Where can I get more information?
What is peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
Peginterferon alfa-2a is made from human proteins that help the body fight viral infections.
Peginterferon alfa-2a is used to treat chronic hepatitis B or C. Peginterferon alfa-2a is often used together with another medication called ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab).
Peginterferon alfa-2a may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
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 spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
- numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling;
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- easy bruising or bleeding, feeling very tired;
- sores in your mouth, nose or eyes;
- redness, crusting, or drainage in your eyes;
- worsening of psoriasis;
- cough, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath;
- severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate;
- high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
- low blood sugar (headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, trouble concentrating);
- vision changes, headache or pain behind your eyes; or
- fever with severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea.
Less serious side effects may include:
- vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, mild diarrhea;
- weight changes, feeling very hot or cold;
- headache, muscle or joint pain;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- temporary hair loss, mild skin rash; or
- itching, redness, dryness, or swelling 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 Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
What is the most important information I should know about peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys)?
Peginterferon alfa-2a is often used together with another medication called ribavirin. Ribavirin is known to cause birth defects or death in an unborn baby.
If a man fathers a child while using ribavirin, the baby may have birth defects.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to peginterferon alfa-2a, or if you have autoimmune hepatitis, liver failure, or a hemoglobin blood cell disorder such as sickle-cell anemia or thalassemia, if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your sexual partner is pregnant.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had a drug or alcohol addiction, or depression, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts.
Using this medication will not prevent you from passing hepatitis.
Additional Pegasys Information
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Pegasys User Reviews
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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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