Interferon alfa-2b Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Interferon alfa-2b is also known as: Intron A

Interferon alfa-2b Pregnancy Warnings

Interferon alfa-2b has been assigned to a pregnancy category C by the FDA. When used with ribavirin, the combination therapy has been assigned to pregnancy category X by the FDA. Animal studies have revealed evidence of abortifacient effects. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Interferon alfa-2b is only recommended for use during pregnancy when there are no alternatives and benefit outweighs risk.

A 26-year-old woman diagnosed with hepatitis C, at 16 weeks' gestation with twins, was successfully treated with a short-course (10 weeks) of interferon alfa-2b. The therapy was discontinued because of myalgia, excessive fatigue, and depressive symptoms. This patient received a total dose of 72 million units of interferon alfa. Follow-up exams of the infants, at 12 and 18 months of age, showed them doing well.

Interferon alfa-2b Breastfeeding Warnings

There are no data on the excretion of interferon alfa-2b into human milk. However, animal studies have revealed evidence of interferons being excreted into milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from interferon alfa-2b, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

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