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Interferon Gamma-1b

Generic Name: Interferon Gamma-1b (in ter FEER on GAM ah won bee)
Brand Name: Actimmune

Uses of Interferon Gamma-1b:

  • It is used to fight infections having to do with chronic granulomatous disease.
  • It is used to slow the progress of osteopetrosis.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Interferon Gamma-1b?

  • If you have an allergy to interferon gamma-1b or any part of this medicine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take interferon gamma-1b with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Interferon Gamma-1b?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how interferon gamma-1b affects you.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor. The flu-like side effects of interferon may be stressful to heart patients.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your urine checked as you have been told by your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this medicine may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using interferon gamma-1b while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Interferon Gamma-1b) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.
  • If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.
  • Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Take at bedtime to help with flu-like signs.
  • Do not shake the solution.
  • Do not mix interferon gamma-1b with other drugs in the same syringe.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of skin infection like oozing, heat, swelling, redness, or pain.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Change in balance.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Seizures.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Bruising, lump, or swelling at the injection site that does not go away.

What are some other side effects of Interferon Gamma-1b?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Feeling tired or weak.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Interferon Gamma-1b?

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Throw away any part of opened vial not used after use.
  • If needed, this medicine can be left out at room temperature for up to 12 hours before use. Throw away any part not used after 12 hours.
  • Do not put interferon gamma-1b back in the refrigerator after it has been stored at room temperature.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take interferon gamma-1b or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 interferon gamma-1b. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

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