Chemical Name: INTERFERON (in-ter-FEER-on) ALFACON-1
This medicine is an interferon used to treat chronic hepatitis C. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
WARNING: Patients using this medicine have developed mental and/or emotional conditions (e.g., depression, suicidal thoughts). Notify your doctor immediately if you start feeling sad or depressed. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine is sometimes used at home as an injection. Before using this medicine, a healthcare professional will provide detailed instructions for its appropriate use. This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read it carefully. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine or giving injections. DO NOT SHAKE the vial before using. STORE THIS MEDICINE in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, check with your doctor for further instructions. Do not use 2 doses at once.
DO NOT STOP USING THIS MEDICINE without first checking with your doctor. KEEP ALL DOCTOR AND LABORATORY APPOINTMENTS while you are using this medicine. DO NOT CHANGE BRANDS OF THIS MEDICINE without discussing it with your doctor. BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR DENTAL TREATMENTS, EMERGENCY CARE, OR SURGERY, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using this medicine. USING THIS MEDICINE ALONE, WITH OTHER MEDICINES, OR WITH ALCOHOL may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. THIS MEDICINE WILL ADD TO THE EFFECTS of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants. This medicine is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the risk of fetal harm. Consult your doctor for more information. Contraceptive (birth control) measures are recommended for use in men and women while taking this medication. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. IT IS UNKNOWN IF THIS DRUG IS EXCRETED in breast milk. IF YOU ARE OR WILL BE BREAST-FEEDING while you are using this medicine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects
A SIDE EFFECT, that may go away during treatment, is trouble sleeping. If it continues or is bothersome, check with your doctor. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you experience changes in vision; fever; chills; headache; fatigue; joint or muscle aches; dizziness; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; or sweating. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience behavioral, emotional, or mood changes; confusion; skin rash; unusual bleeding or bruising; sharp or crushing chest pain; sudden shortness of breath; sudden leg pain; sudden severe headache, vomiting, or fainting; numbness of an arm or leg; severe stomach pain; or thinning hair. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
If you take too much
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include chills, fever, muscle pain, and loss of appetite.
Do not share razors or toothbrushes with other people. This medicine does not prevent the spread of hepatitis C. If you have questions about how to prevent the spread of hepatitis C, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. You should receive an eye exam before using this medicine. If you have an eye disease or are at risk for eye disease (e.g., diabetics), you should have periodic eye exams thereafter while using this drug. KEEP THIS PRODUCT, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for selecting an appropriate container and properly disposing of the container when it is full.