Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using PegIntron® alone or together with ribavirin while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. These medicines may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Women should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose. Female partners of male patients should also use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for 6 months after the last dose. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using these medicines, tell your doctor right away.
A negative pregnancy test is needed in women who are of childbearing age before starting treatment with this medicine together with ribavirin. Female patients must also have regular pregnancy tests during treatment with this medicine together with ribavirin and for 6 months after stopping treatment.
Using Sylatron™ while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with this medicine and for at least 10 days after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
This medicine can increase thoughts of suicide in people with or without a history of a mental illness. This medicine may also cause relapse in people with a history of substance abuse. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed or exhibit aggressive behavior. Also tell your doctor right away if you have thoughts of hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure your caregiver knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell your doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects during treatment and for up to 6 months after treatment, tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble with breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of the hands, face, or mouth while you or your child are using this medicine.
Serious allergic reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, fever or chills, hives or welts, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, or sores or ulcers on the skin while you or your child are using this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Peginterferon alfa-2b injection combined with ribavirin can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets in the blood, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you or your child can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Peginterferon alfa-2b injection when used together with ribavirin may cause teeth and gum problems. These medicines may cause dryness of the mouth, and a dry mouth may damage your teeth and gums if you take these medicines for a long time. To help prevent this condition, carefully brush your teeth at least two times a day and have regular visits with your dentist. For temporary relief of mouth dryness, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute.
Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have symptoms that could lead to pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas). This includes sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
Children who use peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin combination may have weight loss and slowed growth. Most children have a growth spurt and gain weight after treatment ends. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Peripheral neuropathy may occur if you use this medicine together with telbivudine (Tyzeka®). Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.