Generic Name: Peginterferon Beta-1a (peg inter FEER on BAY ta wun ay)
Brand Name: Plegridy, Plegridy Starter Pack
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 26, 2020.
Uses of Plegridy:
- It is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Plegridy?
- If you have an allergy to interferon beta-1a or any other part of Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a).
- If you are allergic to Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a); any part of Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
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 Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) 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 Plegridy?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- A lot of times, reactions happen where the shot was given. Sometimes, very bad reactions may happen. Check with your doctor if you have any reaction that bothers you or does not go away. Call your doctor right away if you have any break in the skin, color changes (blue or black), swelling, or drainage of fluid where the shot was given.
- Very bad health problems like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS) have happened with drugs like this one. Sometimes, this has been deadly. This has happened several weeks to years after starting treatment. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired or weak or have any bruising or bleeding, change in balance, change in eyesight, change in how much urine is passed, dark urine, fever, pale skin, trouble speaking or thinking, weakness on 1 side of the body, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Plegridy) best taken?
Use Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) 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.
- Other drugs may be given before Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) to help avoid side effects.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, or scarred.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- If stored in a refrigerator, let Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) come to room temperature before using it. Leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Do not heat Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a).
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Throw syringe away after use. Do not use the same syringe more than one time.
- 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 and go back to your normal time.
- 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.
- If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.
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, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs or symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts, emotional ups and downs, abnormal thinking, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Signs of thyroid problems like change in weight; feeling nervous, excitable, restless, or weak; hair thinning; depression; neck swelling; not able to focus; trouble with heat or cold; menstrual changes; shakiness; or sweating.
- Heart failure has happened with Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a), as well as heart failure that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, a heartbeat that is not normal, or swelling in the arms or legs that is new or worse.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a). Call your doctor right away if you have 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.
- Low blood cell counts have happened with Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a). If blood cell counts get very low, this can lead to bleeding problems, infections, or anemia. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or if you feel very tired or weak.
What are some other side effects of Plegridy?
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:
- Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Irritation where the shot is given.
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 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 Plegridy?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Store in the original container to protect from light.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 30 days. If stored at room temperature and not used within 30 days, throw Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) away.
- If Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) is taken out of the refrigerator, it can be put back in if needed. The total number of days it can be out of the refrigerator must not be more than 30 days.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- 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.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) is refilled. If you have any questions about Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a), please talk with the doctor, 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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the new drugs used for multiple sclerosis (MS)?
- What is Plegridy used for and is it an immunosuppressant?
- How do you use the Plegridy pen and where do you inject?
More about Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 11 Reviews
- Drug class: interferons
- FDA Approval History
- Plegridy (Advanced Reading)
- Plegridy Pen (Advanced Reading)
- Plegridy Pen Starter Pack (Advanced Reading)
- Plegridy Starter Pack (Advanced Reading)
- Plegridy Starter Pack