Classifications: immunomodulator; interferon; antineoplastic; Therapeutic: immunomodulator; interferon; antineoplastic
Prototype: Interferon alfa-2a
Pregnancy Category: C
5 million IU, 10 million IU, 18 million IU, 25 million IU, 50 million IU vials
Interferon (IFN) alfa-2b, one of 4 types of alpha interferons, is a highly purified protein and natural product of human
leukocytes within 46 h after viral stimulation. Produced by recombinant DNA technology (rIFN-A). Antiviral action: Reprograms virus-infected cells to inhibit various stages of virus replication. Antitumor action: Suppresses cell proliferation. Immunomodulating action: Enhances phagocytic activity of macrophages and augments specific cytotoxicity of lymphocytes for target cells. The immune
system and the interferon system of defense are complementary.
Has a broad spectrum of antiviral, cytotoxic, and immunomodulating activity (i.e., favorably adjusts immune system to better
combat foreign invasion of antigens, cancers, and viruses).
Hairy cell leukemia in splenectomized and non-splenectomized patients ≥18
y, chronic hepatitis B or C, malignant melanoma, condylomata acuminata, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.
Multiple sclerosis, condylomata acuminata.
Hypersensitivity to interferon alfa-2b or to any components of the product; colitis; pancreatitis; neonates, pregnancy (category
Severe, preexisting cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease; pulmonary disease (e.g., COPD); diabetes mellitus patients prone
to ketoacidosis; coagulation disorders; severe myelosuppression; recent MI; previous dysrhythmias.
Route & Dosage
|Hairy Cell Leukemia
Adult: IM/SC 2 million U/m2 3 times/wk
Adult: IM/SC 30 million U/m2 3 times/wk
Adult: IM/SC 1 million U/m2 3 times/wk
Chronic Hepatitis B or C
Adult: SC 3 million U 3 times/wk x 1824 mo
Adult: IV 20 million IU/m2 daily for 5 d per wk x 4 wk; maintenance dose is 10 million IU/m2 given SC weekly x 48 wk
Not removed by dialysis.
Note: Interferon alfa-2b should be administered under the guidance of a qualified physician. Subcutaneous/Intramuscular
- Reconstitution: The final concentration with the amount of required diluent is determined by the condition being treated
(see manufacturer's directions). Inject diluent (bacteriostatic water for injection) into interferon alfa-2b vial; gently
agitate solution before withdrawing dose with a sterile syringe.
- Make sure reconstituted solution is clear and colorless to light yellow and free of particulate material; discard if there
are particles or solution is discolored.
- Store vials and reconstituted solutions at 2°8° C (36°46° F); remains stable for 1 mo. Discard
any remaining drug in reconstituted vials.
PREPARE: IV Infusion: Prepare immediately before use. Select the appropriate number of vials (i.e., 10, 18, or 50 million IU) of recombinant powder for injection
and add to each the 1 mL of supplied diluent. Swirl gently to dissolve but do not shake. Further dilute by adding the required
dose to 100 mL of NS. The final concentration should be <10 million IU/100 mL.
ADMINISTER: IV Infusion: Infuse over 20 min.
INCOMPATIBILITIES Solution/additive: Dextrose-containing solutions.
Adverse Effects (≥1%)Body as a Whole: Flu-like syndrome (fever, chills) associated with myalgia and arthralgia,
leg cramps. CNS: Depression
, nervousness, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, fatigue,
, altered mental states, ataxia, tremor, paresthesias, headache. CV:
Hypertension, dyspnea, hot flushes. Special Senses:
Epistaxis, pharyngitis, sneezing; abnormal vision. GI:
Taste alteration, anorexia,
weight loss, nausea,
vomiting, stomatitis, diarrhea,
Mild thrombocytopenia, transient granulocytopenia, anemia, neutropenia, leukemia. Skin:
Mild pruritus, mild alopecia, rash, dry skin, herpetic eruptions, nonherpetic cold sores, urticaria.
May increase theophylline
levels; additive myelosuppression with antineoplastics
may increase hematologic toxicity, increase doxorubicin
toxicity, increase neurotoxicity with vinblastine.
Use with ribavirin
increases risk of hemolytic anemia; do not use in combination with ribavirin
68 h. Metabolism:
In kidneys. Half-Life:
(see INTERFERON ALFA-2A)
Assessment & Drug Effects
- Assess hydration status; patient should be well hydrated, especially during initial stage of treatment and if vomiting or
- Lab tests: Closely monitor CBC with differential and platelet counts.
- Monitor for ecchymoses, petechiae, and bruising.
- Assess for flu-like symptoms, which may be relieved by acetaminophen (if prescribed).
- Monitor level of GI distress and ability to consume fluids and food.
- Monitor mental status and alertness; implement safety precautions if needed.
Patient & Family Education
- Learn techniques for reconstitution and administration of drug.
- Do NOT change brands of interferon without first consulting the physician.
- Note: If flu-like symptoms develop, take acetaminophen as advised by physician and take interferon at bedtime.
- Note: Fertile, nonpregnant women need to use effective contraception.
- Use caution with hazardous activities until response to drug is known.
- Learn about adverse effects and notify physician about those that cause significant discomfort.