Interferon alfa-n3 Side Effects
Commonly reported side effects of interferon alfa-n3 include: fever, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, and chills. Other side effects include: back pain. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to interferon alfa-n3: injection solution
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking interferon alfa-n3:
Appetite loss; changes in taste or hearing; chills; diarrhea; fatigue; flu-like symptoms; headache; muscle and joint pain; nausea; pain or other reaction at the site of injection; stomach pain; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; bloody diarrhea; chest pain; dark urine or changes in amount of urine; depression; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; drowsiness; intolerance to heat or cold; irregular heartbeat; one-sided weakness (arm, leg); persistent sore throat; poor coordination; pounding in the chest; psychotic or manic behavior; seizures; severe stomach/abdominal pain; suicidal thoughts; tingling hands or feet; unusual bleeding/bruising; unusual increase in thirst; vision changes; vomiting blood; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to interferon alfa-n3: injectable solution
Side effects were evaluated in 202 patients with condylomata acuminata receiving interferon alfa-n3 by intralesional administration and in 31 patients with cancer receiving interferon alfa-n3 by systemic administration.
Most of the systemic side effects reported in patients with condylomata acuminata were mild or moderate. Severe systemic side effects were reported in 18% of patients treated with interferon alfa-n3 and 13% of patients treated with placebo. The severe systemic side effects reported were influenza-like symptoms (most common), back pain, insomnia, and sensitivity to allergens.
The occurrence of side effects in patients with cancer was determined to be unrelated to the intramuscular dose of interferon alfa-n3.[Ref]
Musculoskeletal side effects have included myalgias (45%), arthralgia (5%), back pain (4%), and muscle cramps (1%). Myalgias (16%; severe: 13%), arthralgia (10%; severe: 3%), and muscle soreness (severe: 3%) have been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Other side effects have included fever (40%), influenza-like symptoms (including myalgias, fever, and/or headache; 30%), chills (14%), fatigue (14%), malaise (9%), and sweating (2%)., Left groin lymph node swelling, thirst, hot sensation on bottom of feet, heat intolerance, hot flashes, throat tightness, and decrease in concentration have been reported in 1% of patients. Chills (87%; severe: 45%), fever (81%; severe: 55%), anorexia (68%; severe: 45%), malaise (65%; severe: 54%), chest pains (10%; severe: 6%), fatigue (6%; severe: 6%), stiff shoulders (severe: 3%), sweating (severe: 3%), flushed face, edema, shakes/shivers, and cramps have been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects have included headache (31%), dizziness (9%), insomnia (2%), vasovagal reaction (2%), tongue hyperesthesia (1%), and tingling of legs/feet (1%). Sleepiness (10%; severe: 3%), headache (10%; severe: 3%), numbness (severe: 3%), confusion (severe: 3%), lightheadedness (severe: 3%), numbness in hands, numbness in fingers, and ringing in ears have been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (4%), vomiting (3%), dyspepsia/heartburn (3%), diarrhea (2%), strange taste in mouth (1%), and increased salivation (1%). Nausea (48%; severe: 16%), vomiting (29%; severe: 10%), diarrhea (6%; severe: 3%), sore mouth/stomatitis (6%; severe: 6%), dry mouth, mucositis, constipation, and upset stomach have been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Hematologic side effects have included decreased white blood cells (11%). Abnormal hemoglobin level (7%), white blood cell count (3%), and platelet count (3%) have been reported in patients with cancer.
Dermatologic side effects have included generalized pruritus (2%), papular rash on neck (1%), photosensitivity (1%), and herpes labialis (1%).[Ref]
Psychiatric side effects have included depression (2%) and nervousness (1%). Depression (severe: 3%) has been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included nose/sinus drainage (2%), pharyngitis (1%), and nosebleed (1%). Coughing has been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Local side effects have included application site disorders (such as itching and pain) in 12% of patients treated with interferon alfa-n3 and 26% of patients treated with placebo. Soreness at injection site (10%) has been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Ocular side effects have included visual disturbances (1%). Blurred vision (6%; severe: 3%) and pain on ocular rotation (severe: 3%) have been reported in patients with cancer.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects have included dysuria (1%).[Ref]
Immunologic side effects have included swollen lymph nodes (1%).[Ref]
Cardiovascular side effects have included low blood pressure (6%; severe: 6%) in patients with cancer.
Metabolic side effects have included abnormal alkaline phosphatase (8%) in patients with cancer.
1. "Product Information. Alferon N injection (interferon alfa-2a)" Interferon Sciences Inc, New Brunswick, NJ.
Not all side effects for interferon alfa-n3 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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