interferon alfa-2a (generic name)

It (Roferon-A) helps the immune system fight viral infections such as chronic hepatitis C, and certain cancers like Philadelphia chromosome pos...
(in ter FEER on AL fa 2 a)
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What is this medicine?

INTERFERON ALFA-2a (in ter FEER on AL fa 2 a) (Roferon-A) helps the immune system fight viral infections such as chronic hepatitis C, and certain cancers like Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myelogenous leukemia, and hairy cell leukemia.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • alcoholism or other drug abuse or addiction
  • autoimmune disease like psoriasis, Raynaud's phenomenon, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythematosus
  • blood or bleeding disorders
  • depression or mental disorders
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • immune system problems like HIV infection
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease
  • seizures
  • stomach problems
  • thyroid disease
  • transplant recipient
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to interferons, other medicines, benzyl alcohol, E. coli proteins, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

The medicine is for injection under the skin. Do not shake the prefilled syringes. Shaking can destroy the medicine. If you are giving yourself the injections, make sure you follow the directions carefully. If you have any questions about how to give your medicine, call your health care provider. If you experience flu-like effects, inject the dose at bedtime to decrease these effects. Do not reuse syringes or needles.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses or take more than one dose in a day unless told to do so by your doctor. If you forget a dose for more than 2 days, call your health care professional. If you accidentally take too much, call your doctor immediately.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • theophylline

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Last Updated: May 05, 2009
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