In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of peginterferon alfa-2a in children younger than 5 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established. Do not give this medicine to a baby younger than 1 year of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of peginterferon alfa-2a in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving peginterferon alfa-2a.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis, bronchoconstriction, Stevens-Johnson syndrome) or
- Autoimmune hepatitis (serious liver disease) or
- Decompensated liver disease—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Bleeding problems, history of or
- Bone marrow problems (e.g., aplastic anemia) or
- Breathing problems or other lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, pneumonia, pulmonary infiltrates, sarcoidosis) or
- Depression, history of or
- Diabetes or
- Diabetic retinopathy (eye problem caused by diabetes) or
- Eye or vision problems (e.g., optic neuritis, retinopathy) or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or
- Kidney disease (e.g., interstitial nephritis) or
- Liver disease (including cirrhosis), severe or
- Manic episodes (bipolar depression), history of or
- Myositis (muscle pain) or
- Psoriasis (skin disease) or
- Psychiatric problems, history of or
- Rheumatoid arthritis or
- Stroke, history of or
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (immune system disorder) or
- Thyroid disease—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Blood problems (e.g., spherocytosis) or
- Stomach or bowel problems (e.g., bleeding), history of—Use with caution. May increase risk for severe anemia.
- Chest pain or
- Heart attack, history of or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia), history of or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)—Use with caution. Patients with these conditions should be closely monitored while using this medicine.
- Colitis (inflammation of the bowel) or
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)—Peginterferon alfa-2a should be stopped in patients with these conditions.
- Heart disease (severe or unstable), history of or
- Liver disease, severe or
- Sickle-cell anemia (red blood cell disorder) or
- Thalassemia major (genetic blood disorder)—Peginterferon alfa-2a together with ribavirin should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Infection (e.g., bacteria, virus, or fungus)—May decrease your body's ability to fight infection.
- Kidney disease—Higher blood levels of peg-interferon alfa-2a can occur, which increases the risk of serious side effects.
- Organ transplant (e.g., liver, kidney)—Use of this medicine have not been established in patients with this condition.