Table of Contents > Drug > Peginterferon Alfa-2b and Ribavirin Print

Peginterferon Alfa-2b and Ribavirin

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: Canada: Pegetron®;Pegetron® RediPen®

    Uses
    • This product is made up of 2 drugs, ribavirin and peginterferon alfa-2b. They are used at the same time to treat some patients with hepatitis C infections.
    • Ribavirin works to harm the virus and fight the infection.
    • Peginterferon alfa-2b helps fight viral infections.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • All products:
    • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
    • If you are a woman of childbearing age, take a monthly pregnancy test.
    • Ribavirin:
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Peginterferon alfa-2b:
    • 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.
    • 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

    • Ribavirin:
    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.
    • Peginterferon alfa-2b:
    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • If you miss 3 days of this drug, 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 ribavirin in a refrigerator or at room temperature.
    • Store peginterferon in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to peginterferon alfa-2b, ribavirin, 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 have any of these health problems: Autoimmune disease, very bad kidney disease, very bad liver disease, very bad mental disease, seizures, or thyroid disease.
    • If you are of childbearing age, but are not using 2 kinds of birth control or if you are planning to get pregnant during your care or within 6 months after care has ended.
    • If you are a man with a sex partner who is pregnant or plans on getting pregnant at any time while you are being treated or within 6 months after your care has ended.
    • If you have used interferon before.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you have been treated for hepatitis C infection before with this drug and it did not work, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have cancer, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor. This drug may raise blood sugar.
    • If you have a drug or drinking problem, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have gout, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have hepatitis B or HIV disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have kidney 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 sickle cell disease, 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.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks. Alcohol may make liver disease worse.
    • Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust while using this drug and for 6 months after stopping this drug.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy during care and for 6 months after care ends. Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust.

    Side Effects

    • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
    • Chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • 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.
    • Anemia.
    • 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.
    • Hair thinning.
    • Dry mouth. Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. See a dentist often.
    • 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.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Dark, tarry-black stool.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • For women, if you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 6 months after care ends.
    • For men, if your woman partner gets pregnant while you are being treated or within 6 months after care ends.
    • 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.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
    • 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.

    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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