Classifications: immunomodulator; antiviral; interferon; Therapeutic: antiviral; interferon
Prototype: Interferon alfa-2a
Pregnancy Category: C
9 mcg, 15 mcg injection
DNA recombinant Type 1 interferon. Its antiviral, antiproliferative, and natural killer (NK) cell activity is five times
greater than interferon alpha-2a or interferon alpha-2b.
Effectiveness is measured by normalization of ALT level and serum HCV RNA <100 copies/mL. Type 1 interferons bind to the
cell surface receptors inducing biologic responses including antiviral, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory activities.
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
Hypersensitivity to alpha interferons or E. coli products; patients with decompensated liver disease such as jaundice, ascites, etc.; pregnancy (category C), lactation,
children <18 y.
History of severe psychiatric disorder, depression, or suicidal ideation; preexisting cardiac disease, myelosuppression,
previous hypersensitivity to interferon therapy; history of endocrine disorders; ophthalmic disorders or autoimmune disorders.
Route & Dosage
|Chronic Hepatitis C
Adult: SC 9 mcg 3 times/wk x 24 wk
- Allow at least 24 h to elapse between doses of interferon alfacon-1.
- Give only one dose per vial or per prefilled syringe. Enter each vial only once. Discard unused portion of a vial or prefilled
- Initiate treatment only if acceptable baseline lab values are obtained: Platelet count ≥75
x 109/L, Hgb ≥100 g/L, ANC ≥1500
x 106/L, serum creatinine <2.0 mg/dL, serum albumin ≥25 g/L, bilirubin WNL, TSH,
and T4 WNL.
- Store vials and syringes at 2°8° C (36°46° F). Avoid direct sunlight and vigorous shaking.
Adverse Effects (≥1%)Body as a Whole: Asthenia, headache, fatigue, fever, chills, injection site reaction (pain, edema, hemorrhage, inflammation), pain, myalgia,
increased sweating. CNS: Insomnia, depression, dizziness, paresthesia, nervousness, depression, anxiety,
Hypertension, palpitation. GI: Nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting, dyspepsia, constipation
, flatulence, toothache, hemorrhoids, weight loss, hepatotoxicity. Hematologic: Granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia,
ecchymosis, lymphadenopathy, lymphocytosis. Respiratory: Cough, bronchitis, dyspnea, pneumonia, rhinitis,
pharyngitis. Skin: Alopecia, rash,
dry skin, pruritus,
, menstrual disorder.
No clinically significant interactions established.
Assessment & Drug Effects
- Monitor for and report any of the following S&S immediately: Depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, or other indications
of psychiatric disturbance.
- Withhold drug and notify physician if symptoms of hepatic decompensation such as jaundice or ascites develop. Withhold drug
and notify physician if any other severe adverse reaction occurs.
- Lab tests: Baseline, 2 wk after initiation of therapy, and periodically thereafter: platelet count, Hgb and Hct, WBC and
ANC, serum creatinine, serum albumin, bilirubin, thyroid function, and triglyceride; periodic ALT to determine liver functions.
Patient & Family Education
- Report immediately any signs of psychiatric disturbance including depression, thoughts of suicide, nervousness, anxiety,
agitation, apathy, or significant mood swings to physician.