What is this medication?
PEGINTERFERON BETA-1a (peg in ter FEER on BAY ta) helps to decrease the number of multiple sclerosis attacks and to slow disability in people with relapsing forms of the disease. It is not a cure.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): PLEGRIDY
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bleeding disorder
- heart disease
- history of irregular heartbeat
- if you often drink alcohol
- immune system problems
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
- mental illness
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- thyroid disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to peginterferon, other interferons, latex (the injection for intramuscular use contains natural rubber latex), or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medicine is injected under the skin or into a muscle. You will be taught how to prepare and give it. Take it as directed on the prescription label. Keep taking it unless your health care provider tells you to stop.
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 health care provider to get one.
This medicine comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medicine. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider if you have questions.
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.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
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.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions have not been studied.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
Flu-like symptoms are common with this medicine, especially when first taking it. Ask your doctor or health care professional about taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to manage these symptoms.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
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
- depressed mood
- feeling faint or lightheaded
- heart failure (trouble breathing; fast, irregular heartbeat; sudden weight gain; swelling of the ankles, feet, hands)
- signs and symptoms of infection like fever or chills; cough; sore throat; pain or trouble passing urine
- signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
- skin sore with a black-blue color, swelling, or drainage at site where injected
- suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- 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):
- general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
- joint pain
- muscle pain
- pain, redness, or irritation at site where injected
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep this medicine in the original carton until you are ready to take it. Protect from light. Remove the dose from the carton about 30 minutes before it is time for you to take it. Get rid of any unused medicine after the expiration date.
If refrigeration is not available, this medicine may be stored up to 25 degrees C (up to 77 degrees F) for up to 30 days. Protect from light. The injection can be put back in a refrigerator if necessary. The total combined time out of refrigeration should not exceed 30 days.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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