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Actimmune

Generic Name: interferon gamma-1b (IN-ter-FEER-on GAM-uh)
Brand Name: Actimmune

Actimmune is used for:

Reducing the number and severity of infections associated with chronic granulomatous disease. It is also used to delay the progression of severe, life-threatening bone density disease. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Actimmune is a protein identical to one found in the body. How Actimmune works is not fully understood. It is thought to enhance the action of cells the body uses in defense against certain diseases.

Do NOT use Actimmune if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Actimmune or to any medicine derived from Escherichia coli

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Actimmune:

Some medical conditions may interact with Actimmune. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of bone marrow depression, blood problems (eg, anemia), liver problems, seizures or epilepsy, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • if you have a history of irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, or other heart problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Actimmune. However, no specific interactions with Actimmune are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Actimmune may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Actimmune:

Use Actimmune as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Actimmune. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Actimmune is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Actimmune at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • Do not shake Actimmune.
  • The medicine vial is for a single dose only. Any unused portion of Actimmune should be thrown away.
  • Do not use Actimmune if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Do not inject into an area of the body where the skin is irritated, red, bruised, infected, or scarred in any way. If you experience a break in the skin, a blue-black discoloration of the skin, or fluid drainage from the injection site, contact your heath care provider at once before continuing Actimmune.
  • To decrease side effects, use Actimmune at bedtime unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Actimmune, use it as soon as possible. However, your next injection should be scheduled about 48 hours later. Do not use 2 doses at once. Do not use Actimmune on 2 consecutive days.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Actimmune.

Important safety information:

  • Flu-like symptoms caused by this drug can be lessened by taking Actimmune at bedtime. Use a nonprescription medicine to prevent or lessen fever and headache.
  • Actimmune may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Actimmune may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Lab tests, including blood cell counts, kidney and liver function tests, and urine tests, may be performed while you use Actimmune. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Caution is advised when using Actimmune in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially elevated liver enzyme levels.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Actimmune can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Actimmune during while you are pregnant. It is not known if Actimmune is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Actimmune.

Possible side effects of Actimmune:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; fatigue; flu-like symptoms (eg, low-grade fever, chills, general body discomfort); headache; joint pain; muscle pain; nausea; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; tiredness; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; dizziness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; high or persistent fever; mood or mental changes; seizures; signs of infection (eg, chills, persistent sore throat); stomach pain; trouble walking; unusual bruising or bleeding; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; mental changes; trouble walking; unusual bruising or bleeding.

Proper storage of Actimmune:

Store Actimmune in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Actimmune should not be left at room temperature for longer than 12 hours. Any vials of Actimmune left out of the refrigerator for longer than 12 hours should not be used and should be thrown away. Keep Actimmune out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Actimmune, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Actimmune is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Actimmune or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. 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 Actimmune. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Actimmune. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Actimmune.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. 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 your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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