(in-ter-fer'on al'fa-con)
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.

Therapeutic Effect

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.

Cautious Use

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 syringe immediately.
  • 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, arthralgia, increased sweating. CNS: Insomnia, depression, dizziness, paresthesia, nervousness, depression, anxiety, agitation. CV: 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, erythema. Urogenital: Dysmenorrhea, vaginitis, menstrual disorder.


No clinically significant interactions established.


Peak: 24–36 h.

Nursing Implications

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.

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug

© 2006-2023 Last Updated On: 01/29/2023 (0)
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