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Generic Name: Peginterferon alfa-2a [peg-in-their-FEET-on-AL-fa-2 a]
Drug Class: Antiviral interferons

What is Pegasys?

Pegasys is a product made of human proteins that help the body fight off viral infections.Pegasys is taken on its own or in conjunction with other medications for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults and children aged 5 or older.

Pegasys can also be utilized to manage chronic hepatitis B, in which the virus begins to harm the liver in children and adults who are at least 3 years old.


It is not recommended to use Pegasys in cases of liver insufficiency or autoimmune hepatitis.It is not recommended to use Pegasys with ribavirin if you are pregnant or if you are a man and the woman you are with is expecting. Use effective birth control methods to prevent pregnancy when taking the drug ribavirin or for at least six months after the last dose.Pegasys can cause fatal or serious adverse consequences.

Consult your physician about symptoms of mood that are new or getting worse that make you feel angry or stressed, anxious, or depressed. You may also be thinking about suicide, or doing injury to you.

Contact your doctor immediately. If you experience symptoms like chest pain, rapid heartbeats, or breathing problems, as well as weakness or numbness, speech or vision problems, chills, fever, mucusy coughing when you go to the bathroom, or bloody vomiting.

Before you take this drug

You shouldn't utilize Pegasys if:

  • You are intolerant to any kind of interferon alpha
  • If you suffer from autoimmune hepatitis, or liver damage severe.

If you take Pegasys together with other medicines, To ensure that all medications are suitable for you, inform your physician about all of your medical issues and whether you are nursing or pregnant.

To be sure Pegasys is safe for you, ask your doctor if you have previously had:

  • Both hepatitis A and C, or HIV/AIDS;
  • Liver issues other than hepatitis B and C;
  • Heart disease: excessive blood pressure or heart attack; high blood pressure or heart attack;
  • Lung disease;
  • Thyroid disorder;
  • Colitis (an intestinal disorder);
  • Cancer;
  • An autoimmune disorder, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus
  • Low blood cell count;
  • hemoglobin blood cell disorders, like sickle-cell anemia, Thalassemia
  • An organ transplant;
  • Kidney disease;
  • High triglycerides (a kind of fat found in the blood);
  • An addiction to alcohol or drugs;
  • Depression, mental illness, suicidal ideas, or actions.

Pegasys may contain a component that could cause serious adverse reactions or even death in very young or premature infants. Avoid giving this medication to children younger than one year.It is possible that you will need to take an unfavorable pregnancy test prior to commencing this treatment.

Pegasys is often employed in conjunction with ribavirin. Both women and men who take ribavirin need to utilize effective birth control methods to avoid pregnancy. Ribavirin can cause birth defects, miscarriage, or even death for the baby who is not yet born if the mother or father are taking Pegasys.

Ribavirin is not advisable to take when you are pregnant or if you're male and your sex partner is expecting. Utilize effective birth control to avoid pregnancy. Continue using birth control for a minimum of 6 months following your last dose of ribavirin.Contact your physician immediately if you notice a pregnancy during the time that both the mother and father are taking the drug ribavirin.

It is not recommended to breastfeed while taking Pegasys. Women with HIV or AIDS shouldn't give birth to a baby. Even if your child is born without HIV, it is possible that the virus could be transmitted to your baby through the milk you give your baby.

How to take Pegasys?

Utilize Pegasys exactly as directed by your physician. Follow all instructions on your prescription label, and go through all medication guides and instructions on the label.Pegasys is administered under the skin. Usually, it is administered every week at the same time of the week. A doctor may show you how to use the drug on your own.

Be sure to read and adhere to any instructions for use that come along with your medication. Consult your physician or pharmacist for clarification if you aren't sure about the instructions.Make a Pegasys injectable only when you are prepared to administer it. Avoid using the medicine if it appears unclear, has changed color, or contains particles. Consult your pharmacist about the latest medication.

Peginterferon doses of alfa-2a are based on the body's surface area (height as well as weight) in children. The dose requirements of your child could alter if they are growing.Your dosage requirements could change when you change to a different brand, strength, or type of this medication. Be sure to use only the dosage and form the doctor recommends.You'll require frequent medical examinations. Your lung function and vision could also be examined.

Every Pegasys bottle, syringe, or auto-injector device that is prefilled is intended for one usage only. It is best to dispose of it after one use, regardless of whether there's still some medicine within.Keep within the refrigerator, shielded from sunlight. Avoid shaking or freezing this medication.

Follow the instructions on the label for waiting for your medicine to get to room temperature before injecting the dose. Don't leave the medicine out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours.Make use of the needle and the syringe once only and place them into a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Be sure to follow the laws of your state or city on how to dispose of the container. Make sure it is out of range of children and pets.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose of Pegasys for Chronic Hepatitis C:

Combination Therapy:
-HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 180 mg subcutaneously every week
-HCV genotypes 5, 6: Lack of data to make dosing recommendations
The duration of treatment when combined in conjunction with other HCV antiviral medications:
HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4: The manufacturer's information on all the HCV antiviral medicines must be reviewed.
The duration of therapy in combination with ribavirin but without any other HCV antiviral medications:
HCV genotypes 1, 4, and 48 weeks
HCV genotypes 2, 3: 24 weeks
Monotherapy: 180 mg subcutaneously, once per week over 48 weeks.
Stopping Therapy for HCV Genotype 1 (when taken with ribavirin or by itself):
The treatment should be stopped. If there isn't at least a two log10 reduction in HCV RNA after 12 weeks of therapy or when HCV RNA is visible at the end of 24 weeks of treatment.
The manufacturer's product information for specific HCV antiviral medications must be reviewed for further information regarding discontinuation dependent on the treatment response.
The combination therapy is 180 mg subcutaneously every week.
Therapy duration:
If used in conjunction with other HCV antiviral drugs, the manufacturer's product information for the other HCV antiviral drugs must be reviewed.
If used in combination with ribavirin and other HCV antiviral medications for 48 weeks, irrespective of HCV genotype,
The information provided by the manufacturer for antiviral drugs that co-administer HCV must be reviewed.
It should not be taken alone or in conjunction with ribavirin without the addition of other HCV antiviral medications for the cure of chronic liver disease C (CHC) patients who have failed previous interferon alpha treatment.
It is not recommended to treat CHC patients who've undergone organ transplantation.
The treatment should be stopped at once in the event of hepatic decompensation.
Usage: For the treatment of CHC sufferers (with or without HIV co-infection) who have compensated liver diseases
In a combination regimen, it is combined with other HCV antiviral medications.
As monotherapy in cases of contraindications or significant intolerances with other HCV antiviral medications.

Usual Adult Dose of Pegasys for Chronic Hepatitis B:

180 mg subcutaneously, once a week, for a period of 48 weeks
Use: To treat patients with HBeAG-positive and HBeAG-negative chronic liver disease B with compensated liver disease as well as the evidence for viral replication and inflammation in the liver.

Usual Pediatric Dose of Pegasys for Chronic Hepatitis C:

5 years old or older 5 years or older: at least 180 mcg/1.73 mg/m2 of BSA subcutaneously every week.
Maximum dose: 180 mcg
The duration of treatment:
HCV genotypes 2, 3: 24 weeks
Other HCV genotypes: 48-week
For use in conjunction with ribavirin.
The manufacturer's product information for ribavirin is recommended.
Patients who start therapy prior to the age of 18 should stay on the recommended dose for children until they have completed their therapy.
Use: When combined with ribavirin for the treatment of CHC patients suffering from compensated liver disease.

What happens If I miss a dose?

Take the medication whenever you remember, and then you can return to your regular dosage schedule. Avoid using two doses at the same time.In the event that you're over two days late with the injection, please contact your doctor for directions.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Beware of drinking alcohol. It can increase the chance of sustaining damage to your liver.Avoid driving or engaging in hazardous activities until you understand how Pegasys can impact you. Your reaction may be impaired.

Utilizing Pegasys will not stop the spread of your disease. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding how to avoid transmitting the disease to another person.

Side effects of Pegasys

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms warning of an allergy reaction, Pegasys (hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of your throat or face) or an extreme skin reaction (fever, sore throat, eye burning, ache, and red or purple skin eruption with peeling and blisters),

Peginterferon alfa-2a may cause serious infections that can be life-threatening, auto-immune disorders, serious behavior or mood issues, or even a stroke.Consult your physician anytime. If you experience abnormal changes in the way you behave or your mood, like anger, depression, irritability, hallucinations, thoughts of getting hurt, or falling back into the previous pattern of substance abuse,

Peginterferon alfa-2a can cause fatal or serious adverse consequences. Call your doctor immediately if you suffer from:

  • Extreme stomach pain and bloody diarrhea.
  • New or worsening cough symptoms of a cough that are pink or yellow mucus, difficulty breathing;
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in your legs or arms;
  • Burning or pain during urination;
  • Suddenly numbness or weakness, blurred speech, issues with balance
  • Vision change;
  • Lower blood-cell counts: chills, fever, fatigue, lips sores, bleeding that is not normal, easy bruising pale skin and feet, cold hands, and feeling lightheaded or short of breath.
  • Blood sugar: headache and hunger, sweating, thirst, more frequent urination, weakness, the odor of fruity breath, anxiety or shaking, weight loss, or fainting;
  • Pancreatitis The pain is intense in your stomach that spreads into your lower back; nausea, and even vomiting;
  • Thyroid issues weight fluctuations or skin conditions, difficulty getting your attention, feeling cold or hot every day,
  • Aggravation of liver problems swelling around the midsection area, nausea, diarrhea,  and confusion. Also, you may experience drowsiness, yellowing of your eyes or skin, and losing consciousness.

The next dose you receive could be delayed if you suffer from some adverse reactions.

Pegasys can affect growth in children. Consult your physician if your child isn't growing normally when taking this medication.

Common Pegasys side effects can be:

  • Fever, chills;
  • Joint or muscle pains;
  • Headaches migraine
  • Feeling tired or weak.

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and others could happen. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You can report adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

Inform your doctor about any other medications you take, including:

  • Methadone;
  • Telbivudine;
  • Theophylline
  • Any medication to treat HIV and AIDS.

This list is not comprehensive. Other drugs can be incompatible with peginterferon alfa-2a, which includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. There are many possible interactions between drugs, which are listed here.