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Actimmune Side Effects

Generic Name: interferon gamma-1b

Note: This document contains side effect information about interferon gamma-1b. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Actimmune.

In Summary

Common side effects of Actimmune include: fever, flu-like symptoms, headache, chills, erythema at injection site, and tenderness at injection site. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to interferon gamma-1b: solution

Along with its needed effects, interferon gamma-1b (the active ingredient contained in Actimmune) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking interferon gamma-1b:

More common
  • Chills
  • fever
Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • loss of balance control
  • lower back or side pain
  • mask-like face
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shuffling walk
  • sore throat
  • stiffness of the arms or legs
  • trembling and shaking of the hands and fingers
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble speaking or swallowing
  • trouble thinking or concentrating
  • trouble walking
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
  • change in walking and balance
  • clay colored stools
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • dark urine
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • itching or skin rash
  • joint or muscle pain
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea and vomiting
  • numbness or tingling of the face, hands, or feet
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • redness and soreness of the eyes
  • runny nose
  • shivering skin
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • trouble sleeping
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of interferon gamma-1b may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • redness or tenderness at the injection site
Less common
  • Back pain
  • dizziness
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to interferon gamma-1b: subcutaneous solution

General

General flu-like side effects have been reported most frequently. These have included fever (52%), headache (33%), chills (14%), fatigue (14%), myalgia (6%), and arthralgia (2%). Chest discomfort has been reported.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported frequently. These have included diarrhea (14%), vomiting (13%), and nausea (10%). Gastrointestinal bleeding has been reported rarely.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included rash (17%).[Ref]

Local

Local side effects have included erythema or tenderness at the site of injection (14%).[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects have been reported rarely. These have included hypotension, syncope, tachyarrhythmia, heart block, heart failure, and myocardial infarction.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have been reported rarely. These have included confusion, disorientation, gait disturbance, Parkinsonian symptoms, seizure, hallucinations, and transient ischemic attacks.[Ref]

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects have included tachypnea, bronchospasm, and interstitial pneumonitis.[Ref]

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects have been reported rarely. These have included deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.[Ref]

Renal

Renal side effects have included renal insufficiency which was reversible.[Ref]

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects have included hyponatremia, hyperglycemia, and hypertriglyceridemia.[Ref]

Immunologic

Immunologic side effects have included increased autoantibodies and lupus-like syndrome.[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)" Genenetech, South San Francisco, CA.

Some side effects of Actimmune may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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