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.
  • Proper use of disposable syringes.
  • 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.

Pegintron® is available in 2 dosage forms: a vial (glass container) or a prefilled syringe. If you switch from using the vial to using the prefilled syringe, double-check that you are giving yourself the correct amount of medicine.

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

You might not use all of the medicine in each vial (glass container) or prefilled syringe. Use each vial or syringe only one time. Do not save an open vial or syringe. If the medicine in the vial or syringe has changed color, or if you see particles in it, do not use it.

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. The medicine should be taken on the same 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 weekly (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin 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 microgram per square meter (mcg/m[2]) of body surface area injected under the skin once weekly (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin twice daily.
      • Children younger than 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For prevention 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 per week for 8 doses. This should be followed by 3 mcg/kg of body weight per week injected under the skin 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.

Store the medicine that has been mixed in the refrigerator. You may use it immediately but also 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.