Roferon-A Consumer (continued)
Flu-like symptoms such as headache, tiredness, fever, chills, and muscle aches may occur, especially when you first start this medication. These symptoms usually last about 1 day after the injection and improve or go away after a few weeks of continued use. You can reduce these side effects by injecting this medicine at bedtime and using a fever reducer/pain reliever such as acetaminophen before each dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: feeling too hot or cold (more than others around you), fast/irregular heartbeat, menstrual changes (absent/delayed/irregular periods), numbness/tingling of hands/feet, persistent tiredness, swelling (especially of face/hands/feet), trouble sleeping, trouble walking, vision changes, easy bleeding/bruising, persistent nausea/vomiting, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), stomach/abdominal pain, sudden decrease in amount of urine, dark urine, black/tarry stools, yellowing eyes/skin.
Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, irritability, thoughts of suicide), chest pain, seizures, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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.
In the US -
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.
Read the Roferon-A (interferon alfa-2a, recombinant) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
PRECAUTIONS: Before using interferon alfa, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as albumin), 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: severe liver conditions (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, decompensated liver disease).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood cell disorders (e.g., anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia), cancer, diabetes, eye problems, heart disease (e.g., angina, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, HIV infection, immune system diseases (e.g., lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis), intestinal disease (e.g., colitis), kidney disease, liver disease, lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, asthma, pneumonia), mental/mood disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression), pancreatitis, seizure disorder, thyroid disease, use/abuse of drugs/alcohol.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
If you use both interferon and ribavirin, you may quickly develop a certain serious blood problem (anemia). Talk with your doctor immediately if you feel sudden increased tiredness or fast/pounding heartbeat while taking interferon along with ribavirin.
If you use both interferon and ribavirin, tooth and gum problems may sometimes occur. Dry mouth can worsen this side effect. Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water or by using a saliva substitute. Brush your teeth well at least twice daily and see your dentist regularly. If you experience vomiting during treatment, rinse out your mouth afterwards to reduce tooth and gum problems.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially dizziness, mental/mood changes, and effects on the heart.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to possible harm to an unborn baby and the risk of serious side effects for the pregnant woman. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. To avoid pregnancy, both males and females using this drug must use reliable form(s) of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pills) during treatment with this drug. Talk with your doctor about effective forms of birth control.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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