Find us on Social Media:

Peginterferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Peginterferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(peg in ter FEER on AL fa too aye & rye ba VYE rin)

Canadian Brand Names

Pegasys® RBV

Pharmacologic Category

Antiviral Agent; Interferon

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

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

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to peginterferon alfa-2a, ribavirin 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 hepatitis, certain types of anemia, or severe psychiatric disease.

• If you are of childbearing age, but are not using two forms of birth control or if you are planning to become pregnant during your treatment or within 6 months after treatment has ended.

• If you are a male patient with a sexual partner who is pregnant or plans on becoming pregnant at any time while you are being treated or within 6 months after your treatment has ended.

• If you have used interferon before.

• If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Ribavirin works to injure the virus and fight the infection.

• Peginterferon alfa-2a helps the body's immune system fight viral infections.

How is it best taken?

All forms:

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


• Take this medicine with food.

Peginterferon alfa-2b:

• This medicine is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.

• 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.

• Throw syringe away after single use. Do not reuse.

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

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 or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

What should I monitor?

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

• Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• If you are a female of childbearing age, take a monthly pregnancy test.

• 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 ribavirin in a refrigerator or at room temperature.

• Store peginterferon in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

• Protect from light.

• Do not shake.

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).

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

• 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.

Created: 2009-10-19 10:18:02.0

Modified: 2010-03-22 13:35:34.0

Lexi-PALS TM © (1977)-(2007) Lexi-Comp, Inc. All rights reserved.



No one has made any comments yet. Be the first!

Your Comment