Interferon, Gamma (class)
Interferon gamma-1b injection is used to lower the frequency and severity of serious infections caused by chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). It is also used to slow down the progression of severe, malignant osteopetrosis (SMO). Interferon gamma-1b is a man-made version of a substance naturally produced by cells in the body to help fight infections and tumors.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Actimmune® to treat CGD in children 1 year of age and older, and to treat SMO in children 1 month and older. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children to treat CGD younger than 1 year of age, and in newborns with SMO.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Actimmune® in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving Actimmune®.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, usually in the right and left upper arms, or thighs.
Each package of gamma interferon-1b contains a patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:
If you have any questions about any of this, check with your doctor.
You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. This will help prevent skin problems from the injections.
Use each vial only one time. Do not save an open vial. If the medicine in the vial has changed color, or if you see particles in it, do not use it. Do not shake it.
Do not mix it with other medicines in the same syringe.
You may have fewer side effects (headache, fever, or muscle aches) if you give yourself the shot just before bedtime. Ask your doctor if you can take acetaminophen to prevent or relieve side effects.
Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
Throw away any unopened vials that are left at room temperature for more than 12 hours.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
This medicine commonly causes flu-like reactions, with aching muscles, fever and chills, and headache. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully about taking your temperature, and how much and when to take the acetaminophen to treat fever and pain.
This medicine may cause dizziness, decreased mental status, clumsiness, or trouble walking. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
Actimmune® can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you change in how much or how often you urinate, lower back or side pain, difficult or painful urination.
The stopper of the vial contains natural rubber (a derivative of latex), which may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you have a latex allergy before you start using this medicine.
While you are being treated with Actimmune® and after you stop using it, do not have any vaccines without your doctor's approval. Actimmune® may lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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:
Some side effects 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:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.