A nurse or other trained health professional may give you or your child this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin (usually in the abdomen or stomach, or thighs). You may also be taught how to give this medicine at home. Make sure you understand all of the instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
Each package of peginterferon alfa-2a contains a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand:
- How to prepare the injection.
- Proper use of disposable syringes.
- How to give the injection.
- How long the injection is stable.
If you have any questions about any of this, check with your doctor.
This medicine is available in 3 dosage forms: a vial (glass container), a prefilled syringe, or a disposable autoinjector. If you switch from using the vial to using the prefilled syringe or autoinjector, double-check that you are giving yourself the correct amount of medicine.
You might not use all of the medicine in each vial (glass container), prefilled syringe, or disposable autoinjector. Use each vial, syringe, or autoinjector only one time. Do not save an open vial, syringe, or autoinjector. If the medicine in the vial or syringe has changed color, or if you see particles in it, do not use it.
Drink extra fluids while you are using this medicine. This will keep you well hydrated, especially during the first stages of your treatment.
Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For injection dosage form:
- For hepatitis B and hepatitis C:
- Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually 180 micrograms (mcg) injected under the skin once a week for 48 weeks. The medicine should be used on the same day each week and at approximately the same time.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For hepatitis C infection, in combination with ribavirin:
- Adults—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually 180 micrograms (mcg) injected under the skin once weekly (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin twice daily for 24 to 48 weeks. The length of time will be determined by your doctor.
- Children 5 years of age and older—Dose is based on body weight or body size and must be determined by your doctor. It is usually 180 mcg injected under the skin once weekly (same time and day each week) and should be taken together with ribavirin twice daily for 24 to 48 weeks. The length of time will be determined by your doctor.
- Children younger than 5 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For hepatitis B and hepatitis C:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine and you are 1 or 2 days late, use it as soon as you can. If it has been more than 2 days since you were supposed to use the medicine, call your doctor for instructions.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Do not leave this medicine out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours. Protect it from light.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.