Your doctor has ordered interferon alfacon-1 to help treat your hepatitis C infection. The drug will be injected under your skin (subcutaneously) three times a week. Your healthcare provider will show you what to do.
Interferon alfacon-1 is a synthetic interferon that helps to prevent the hepatitis C virus from growing inside your body. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
Before you administer interferon alfacon-1, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored or if it contains particles. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your healthcare provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason because your infection may worsen and result in hospitalization. Do not administer it more often than or for longer periods than your doctor tells you. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your healthcare provider.
Interferon alfacon-1 may cause side effects. Interferon alfacon-1 sometimes causes a flu-like reaction, including chills, headache, fever, muscle pain, sweating, and joint pain. The effects should become less severe and less frequent as you continue your therapy.
Tell your healthcare provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
pain and irritation at site of injection
swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, or neck
hives or rash
chest pressure or heaviness
depression and thoughts of suicide
unusual bleeding or bruising
fast or irregular heartbeats
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Your healthcare provider will probably give you a several-day supply of interferon alfacon-1 at a time. You will be told to store it in the refrigerator and to protect it from light.
Take your dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.
Do not allow interferon alfacon-1 to freeze; do not vigorously shake the vials. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of the reach of children. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.