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Peginterferon Alfa-2b (peg in ter FEER on AL fa too bee)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Peg-Intron; Peg-Intron Redipen; Peg-Intron Redipen Pak 4; PegIntron; Sylatron

Brand Names: Canada

PegIntron

Warning

  • Alpha interferons may cause or make diseases of the mind worse. Taking one’s own life, ideas of killing yourself or murder, low mood (depression), forceful actions, hallucinations, psychoses, and relapse of drug addiction have happened with use. Alpha interferons may make infections worse, cause blood flow problems or some autoimmune diseases. If you think your child has any of these health problems, call the doctor right away. Side effects such as low blood pressure, a fast heartbeat, and heart attacks have happened while taking alpha interferons. If your child has very bad signs or if signs of these health problems get worse, talk with the doctor about stopping this drug. Problems are most often fixed after stopping the drug.
  • This drug may be used with ribavirin. If you are also taking ribavirin, talk with the doctor about the risks and side effects that may happen.

What is this drug used for?

Peg-Intron:

  • It is used to treat hepatitis C infection.

Sylatron:

  • If your child has been given this form of this drug, talk with the doctor for information about all of the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions or concerns about giving this drug to your child.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has ever had any of these health problems: Autoimmune disease or liver problems.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor. This drug can raise blood sugar.
  • Have your child’s blood sugar checked as you have been told by your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
  • Low mood (depression), thoughts of suicide, and other mental or mood problems have happened during care and within 6 months after stopping this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • Good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help with dry mouth. See a dentist often.
  • Take care of your child’s teeth. See a dentist often.
  • If your child throws up, have your child rinse the mouth out well.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
  • This drug may cause eye problems that may lead to loss of eyesight or blindness. Tell the doctor if your child has eye problems or has had them in the past. Get your child eye exams as you were told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if your child takes a drug that has caffeine, or eats or drinks products that have caffeine, like tea, coffee, cola, or chocolate.
  • It is not known if this drug will prevent liver failure or other liver problems like cancer. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood. Be sure needles and other things like toothbrushes or razors are not shared. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through having sex. Be sure your child does not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • If your child shows signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing him/herself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
  • Loss of eyesight.
  • A big weight gain or loss.
  • Not able to focus.
  • Not able to handle heat or cold.
  • Change in look of teeth or gums.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems have happened with this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child has lung or breathing problems like trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or a cough that is new or worse.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly bowel problems (colitis) have happened within 12 weeks of treatment with alpha interferons like this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child has very bad belly pain, bloody loose stools, throwing up blood, or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly pancreas problems (pancreatitis) have happened with this drug. This could happen at any time during care. Call the doctor right away if your child has signs of pancreatitis like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Belly pain.
  • Not hungry.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Hair loss.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Weight loss.
  • Change in taste.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • Your child’s doctor may teach you how to give the shot.
  • Give the weekly shot at bedtime to lower the flu-like signs.
  • Acetaminophen may be given to lower fever and chills.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Do not shake.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • Throw syringe away after use. Do not use more than one time.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.
  • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.

Peg-Intron vials:

  • This drug must be mixed with sterile water before using. The sterile water that comes with this drug is meant for one use only. Throw away any part of the sterile water that is not used after one use.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Call the doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store vials at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Store Redipen® syringes in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Use right away after mixing or you may store in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • Throw away any part not used after use.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2014-12-10

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.