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Interferon Alfacon-1

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Infergen®

    Uses
    • It is used to treat long-term hepatitis C infections.
    • Interferon alfacon-1 helps fight viral infections.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
    • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
    • Your doctor may teach you how to give the shot.
    • Take at bedtime to help with flu-like signs.
    • The shot is most often given 3 times a week for about 6 months.
    • Before giving the shot, bring it to room temperature.
    • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Throw syringe away after use. Do not use more than one time.
    • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box and take the box back to your doctor when it is full.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If the next dose is less than 48 hours away, call your doctor to find out what to do.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose, brand, or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Alpha interferons may cause or make diseases of the mind worse. Taking one's own life, ideas of killing yourself or murder, low mood (depression), forceful actions, hallucinations, psychoses, and relapse of drug addiction have happened with use. Alpha interferons may make infections worse, cause blood flow problems or some autoimmune diseases. If you think you have any of these health problems, call your doctor right away. Side effects such as low blood pressure, a fast heartbeat, and heart attacks have happened while taking alpha interferons. If you have very bad signs or if signs of these health problems get worse, talk with your doctor about stopping this drug. Problems are most often fixed after you stop the drug.
    • Please read the medication guide.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to interferon alfacon-1 or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

    Precautions

    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes) or high blood pressure, have an eye exam before starting this drug.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have thyroid disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Use birth control that you can trust during care and for 6 months after care ends.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy during care and for 6 months after care ends. Use birth control that you can trust.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Low white blood cell count or low platelet count.
    • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Belly pain.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Hair loss. Hair most often grows back when this drug is stopped.
    • Itching.
    • Not able to sleep.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very bad belly pain or bloody loose stools.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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