Interferon Alfa-2b
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Interferon Alfa-2b Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(in ter FEER on AL fa too bee)

U.S. Brand Names

Intron® A

Canadian Brand Names

Intron® A

Mexican Brand Names


Pharmacologic Category


What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• Alpha interferons may cause or worsen diseases of the mind. Suicide, ideas of suicide or homicide, depression, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, psychoses, and relapse of drug addiction have occurred with use. Alpha interferons may cause or worsen infections, circulation problems, and certain autoimmune diseases. If you suspect any of these problems, call healthcare provider right away. Side effects such as low blood pressure, fast heartbeats, and heart attacks have occurred while taking alpha interferons. In patients with severe or worsening signs and symptoms of these conditions, the medicine should be stopped. Problems are usually corrected after you stop the medicine.

• This medicine does not mix well with some medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

• Please read the medication guide.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to interferon alfa-2b or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you have any of the following conditions: Autoimmune disease, confusion caused by liver disease, fluid in your belly, liver disease, or severe depression.

• If you have had a transplant.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Interferon alfa-2b helps the body's immune system fight viral infections.

• It may affect the cancer cells or the body's response to the cancer.

How is it best taken?

• To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

• This medicine is given as a shot.

• Your healthcare provider may teach you how to give the shot.

• Take this medicine at bedtime to help with flu-like symptoms.

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Drink plenty of noncaffeine-containing liquid unless told to drink less liquid by healthcare provider.

• Throw away needles in needle/sharp disposal box and return box to healthcare provider when full.

• Treatment of genital warts is done in a healthcare provider's office.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Take a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

• Do not change dose, brand, or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• If you are diabetic, you will need to monitor blood sugars closely.

• Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• Check weight weekly. Report a weight loss to healthcare provider.

• Dry mouth may cause an increase in cavities. Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist regularly.

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store unopened vials in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2006-10-13 13:17:49.0

Modified: 2010-04-07 11:35:41.0

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