You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to interferon alfa-2b or benzyl alcohol, if you have a weakened immune system, a history of depression or mental illness, liver disease, or if you have ever had autoimmune hepatitis or any other autoimmune disorder.
Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
Drink extra fluids so you will pass more urine while you are using this medicine. This will keep your kidneys working well and help prevent kidney problems.
This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease, heart rhythm problems, low blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, bowel problems, seizures, diabetes, lung disease (such as COPD), blood clots, history of stroke or heart attack, thyroid problems, a weakened immune system, autoimmune disorder (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or sarcoidosis), high cholesterol (triglyceride) in the blood, or a history of depression or mental illness, a head injury, or an organ transplant.
This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
For some children and teenagers, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. All of the warnings in this leaflet are true for a child or teenager who is using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed. Also tell your doctor right away if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure your caregiver knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell your doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let your doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
The powder form of this medicine contains albumin, which is derived from human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who have received them. The risk of getting a virus from medicines made of human blood has been greatly reduced in recent years. This is the result of required testing of human donors for certain viruses, and testing during manufacture of these medicines. Although the risk is low, talk with your doctor if you have concerns.
Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Check with your doctor if blurred vision, decreased vision, or any other change in vision occurs during your treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief of mouth dryness, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.
This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.