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Actimmune Side Effects

Generic Name: interferon gamma-1b

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

In Summary

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

For the Consumer

Applies to interferon gamma-1b: solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by interferon gamma-1b (the active ingredient contained in Actimmune). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking interferon gamma-1b, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in 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 skin
  • shuffling walk
  • stiffness of arms or legs
  • trembling and shaking of hands and fingers
  • trouble in speaking or swallowing
  • trouble in thinking or concentrating
  • trouble in walking
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Minor Side Effects

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

More common:
  • Aching muscles
  • diarrhea
  • fever and chills
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • skin rash
  • unusual tiredness
Less common:
  • Back pain
  • dizziness
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to interferon gamma-1b: subcutaneous solution


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Not all side effects for Actimmune may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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