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Interferon Alfa-n3

Pronunciation

(in ter FEER on AL fa en three)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Solution, Injection:

Alferon N: 5,000,000 units/mL (1 mL)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Alferon N

Pharmacologic Category

  • Interferon

Pharmacology

Interferons interact with cells through high affinity cell surface receptors. Following activation, multiple effects can be detected including induction of gene transcription. Inhibits cellular growth, alters the state of cellular differentiation, interferes with oncogene expression, alters cell surface antigen expression, increases phagocytic activity of macrophages, and augments cytotoxicity of lymphocytes for target cells

Use: Labeled Indications

Condylomata acuminata: Intralesional treatment of refractory or recurring external condylomata acuminata (venereal or genital warts) in patients 18 years of age or older.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to human interferon alpha proteins or any component of the formulation; anaphylactic sensitivity to mouse immunoglobulin (IgG), egg protein, or neomycin.

Dosing: Adult

Condylomata acuminata: Intralesional: 250,000 units (0.05 mL) per wart twice weekly for a maximum of 8 weeks; maximum dose per treatment session: 2.5 million units (0.5 mL). Therapy should not be repeated for at least 3 months after the initial 8-week course of therapy (unless existing warts grow or new warts appear).

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Administration

Inject into base of wart with a 30-gauge needle. For large warts, dose may be injected at several points around the outside edge of the wart (total dose: 0.05 mL/wart).

Storage

Store at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F); do not freeze or shake.

Drug Interactions

Aldesleukin: Interferons (Alfa) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Aldesleukin. In particular, risks of myocardial and renal toxicity may be increased by this combination. Consider therapy modification

BCG (Intravesical): Myelosuppressive Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of BCG (Intravesical). Avoid combination

CloZAPine: Myelosuppressive Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CloZAPine. Specifically, the risk for neutropenia may be increased. Monitor therapy

Deferiprone: Myelosuppressive Agents may enhance the neutropenic effect of Deferiprone. Avoid combination

Dipyrone: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Myelosuppressive Agents. Specifically, the risk for agranulocytosis and pancytopenia may be increased Avoid combination

Methadone: Interferons (Alfa) may increase the serum concentration of Methadone. Monitor therapy

Ribavirin (Oral Inhalation): Interferons (Alfa) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ribavirin (Oral Inhalation). Hemolytic anemia has been observed. Monitor therapy

Ribavirin (Systemic): Interferons (Alfa) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ribavirin (Systemic). Hemolytic anemia has been observed. Monitor therapy

Theophylline Derivatives: Interferons may decrease the metabolism of Theophylline Derivatives. Exceptions: Dyphylline. Monitor therapy

Zidovudine: Interferons may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Zidovudine. Interferons may decrease the metabolism of Zidovudine. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

Flu-like reactions, consisting of headache, fever, and/or myalgia, were reported in 30% of patients, and abated with repeated dosing.

>10%:

Central nervous system: Chills, fatigue, fever, headache

Hematologic: Decreased WBC

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Myalgia

Miscellaneous: Flu-like syndrome

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Depression, dizziness, insomnia, malaise, thirst

Dermatologic: Pruritus

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, dyspepsia, taste disturbance, tongue hyperesthesia, nausea, vomiting

Genitourinary: Groin lymph node swelling

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Arthralgia, back pain, cramps, paresthesia

Ocular: Visual disturbance

Respiratory: Nose bleed, pharyngitis, rhinitis

Miscellaneous: Increased sweating, vasovagal reaction

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Hepatotoxicity (idiosyncratic) (Chalasani, 2014), photosensitivity. Rare adverse reactions reported with other alfa-interferons include autoimmune disorders, depression, ophthalmic disorders, suicide.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Flu-like symptoms: Flu-like symptoms are common; may aggravate debilitating conditions.

• Hypersensitivity reactions: Discontinue use if signs/symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions occur (eg, urticaria, angioedema, bronchoconstriction, anaphylaxis).

Disease-related concerns:

• Bone marrow suppression: Use with caution in patients with severe myelosuppression.

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease (eg, unstable angina, uncontrolled CHF).

• Coagulation disorders: Use with caution in patients with coagulation disorders (eg, thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism, hemophilia).

• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes with ketoacidosis.

• Pulmonary disease: Use with caution in patients with severe pulmonary disease (eg, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

• Seizure disorder: Use with caution in patients with seizure disorders.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Albumin: Contains albumin, which may carry a remote risk of transmitting Creutzfeldt-Jakob or other viral diseases.

• Product variability: Due to differences in manufacturing, strength, and type of interferon, do not change from one brand of interferon to another; a change in dosage may be required.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Patients should be selected for therapy based on a number of factors: the locations and sizes of the lesions, past treatment and response, and the patient's ability to comply with the treatment regimen. Therapy is particularly useful for patients who have not responded satisfactorily to other treatment modalities (eg, podophyllin resin, surgery, laser or cryotherapy).

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted. Menstrual irregularities have been reported; effective contraception is recommended during treatment.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience arthralgia, myalgia, fatigue, injection site irritation, or flu-like symptoms. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of infection, signs of depression (ie, suicidal ideation, anxiety, emotional instability, illogical thinking), severe dizziness, syncope, angina, considerable asthenia, vision changes, ophthalmalgia, or significant eye irritation (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.

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