interferon gamma-1b (generic name)

Actimmune (brand name)

In patients with chronic granulomatous disease, this medicine helps to fight infections
(in ter FEER on)
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What is this medicine?

INTERFERON (in ter FEER on) Gamma-1b helps your immune system work better. In patients with chronic granulomatous disease, this medicine helps to fight infections. In children with osteoporosis, interferon gamma helps to slow the progression of the disease.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood or bleeding disorders
  • bone marrow disease
  • depression or other mental disorders
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • seizure disorder
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to interferon, proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection under the skin. It is usually given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Do not shake the solution before measuring or injecting a dose. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

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. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. Reschedule your next dose about 48 hours later. Contact your doctor or health care professional if you have questions about adjusting your schedule.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • medicines that may suppress the immune system
  • theophylline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

Reactions at the site of injection may occur. Ask your doctor or health care professional to suggest a series of injection sites, so that you do not have to use the same site repeatedly. You can use an injection site again after one week, providing the skin is not tender, red, or hard.

Flu-like symptoms are common with this medicine. Using this medicine at night can reduce the impact of these symptoms. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen before your injection may help lessen any fever or headache. Check with your doctor before using these medications.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • chest pain
  • fever, chills, or flu-like symptoms
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • muscle aches
  • nausea, vomiting
  • redness, swelling, or tenderness at site where injected

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Last Updated: May 05, 2009
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