Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

A nurse or other trained health professional may give you or your child this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin. You may be taught how to give this medicine at home. Make sure you understand all of the instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.

Each package of peginterferon alfa-2b contains a Medication Guide and a patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:

  • How to prepare the injection.
  • How to give the injection.
  • How long the injection is stable.

If you have any questions about any of this, check with your doctor.

Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

If you are using this medicine at home, your doctor may tell you to inject the medicine at bedtime and to take medicines (eg, acetaminophen, Tylenol®) 30 minutes before the injection. This helps prevent common "flu-like" symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, muscle or joint pain, or tiredness. Also, drinking extra fluids may help if you experience these unwanted effects.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For hepatitis C virus infection:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually between 40 and 150 micrograms (mcg) injected under the skin once a week (same time and day each week).
      • Children 3 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For hepatitis C virus infection, in combination with ribavirin:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually between 50 and 150 micrograms (mcg) injected under the skin once a week (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin capsules or solution twice daily.
      • Children 3 years of age and older—Dose is based on body surface area and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 60 micrograms per square meter (mcg/m[2]) of body surface area injected under the skin once a week (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin capsules or solution twice daily.
      • Children younger than 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For treatment of melanoma:
      • Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually 6 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight injected under the skin once a week for 8 doses. This should be followed by a dose of 3 mcg/kg of body weight injected under the skin once a week for up to 5 years.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

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.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Store unopened vials of this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze. An open vial of medicine must be used right away.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

After mixing the medicine, use it right away. If you are unable to do this, the mixture may be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Throw away any mixed medicine that has not been used within this time. Do not freeze the solution.

Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.