Generic name: interferon gamma-1b [ in-ter-FEER-on-GAM-a ]
Drug class: Interferons
What is Actimmune?
Actimmune is made from human proteins. Interferons help the body fight viral infections.
Actimmune is used to prevent serious infections in people with a condition called chronic granulomatous disease. This medicine is also used to slow the progression of a bone disorder called malignant osteopetrosis.
Actimmune may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Actimmune can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. You may get an infection or bleed more easily. Call your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding, or signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Actimmune if you are allergic to Actimmune, or to drug products made from E. coli bacteria.
To make sure Actimmune is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart rhythm problems;
congestive heart failure;
a nerve-muscle disorder;
bone marrow suppression;
a history of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), including "mini-stroke";
a history of seizures; or
an allergy to rubber.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
This medicine may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.
It is not known whether interferon gamma-1b passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Actimmune is not approved for use by anyone younger than 1 year old.
How should I use Actimmune?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Actimmune is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Use only the type of syringe supplied with this medicine, or recommended by your pharmacist. Do not mix Actimmune in the same syringe with other injectable medicines.
Do not shake the medication bottle. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Actimmune can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.
While using Actimmune, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.
Tell your doctor if you have any changes in height or weight. Actimmune doses are based on body surface area (height and weight), and any changes may affect your dose.
Store Actimmune in the refrigerator, do not freeze.
You may take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before injecting your dose.
Do not leave the medicine at room temperature for longer than 12 hours. Throw the medicine if it has been at room temperature for more than 12 hours. Do not put it back in the refrigerator.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include changes in you mental status, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or flu-like symptoms.
What should I avoid while using Actimmune?
Drinking alcohol with Actimmune can cause side effects.
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Actimmune side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Actimmune may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
a seizure (convulsions);
low blood cell counts--fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, swollen gums, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or
kidney problems--little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
Your doses may be delayed or reduced if you have certain side effects.
Common side effects of Actimmune may include:
redness or tenderness where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Actimmune?
Other drugs may interact with interferon gamma-1b, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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