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All about: Actimmune

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Generic Name: interferon gamma-1b (in ter FEER on GAM a)
Brand Names: Actimmune

What is Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

Interferon gamma-1b is made from human proteins. Interferons help the body fight viral infections.

Interferon gamma-1b is a specific interferon used to prevent infections in people with a condition called chronic granulomatous disease. Interferon gamma-1b is also used to treat a congenital bone disorder called osteopetrosis.

Interferon gamma-1b may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to interferon gamma-1b, or to drug products made from E. Coli bacteria.

Before using interferon gamma-1b, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have heart rhythm problems, congestive heart failure, history of heart disease or blood clots, or epilepsy or another seizure disorder.

Interferon gamma-1b is usually given three times weekly. Do not use the medication every day unless your doctor has told you to.

Store interferon gamma-1b in the refrigerator but do not allow it to freeze. Throw away any interferon gamma-1b that has been out of the refrigerator for more than 12 hours. Do not put it back into the refrigerator.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to interferon gamma-1b, or to drug products made from E. Coli bacteria.

Before using interferon gamma-1b, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart rhythm problems;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • history of heart disease or blood clots; or

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use interferon gamma-1b, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether interferon gamma-1b passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

Interferon gamma-1b is given as an injection under the skin of your upper arm or thigh. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be given instructions on how to use your injections at home. Do not use this medicine at home if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles and syringes used in giving the medicine.

Interferon gamma-1b is usually given three times weekly. Do not use the medication every day unless your doctor has told you to.

Use a different place on your arm or thigh each time you give yourself an injection. Your doctor will show you the places on your body where you can safely inject the medication. Do not inject interferon gamma-1b into the same place two times in a row.

Use each needle and syringe only one time. With your medicine you will receive a puncture-proof container for used needles and syringes. If you do not receive a container, ask your pharmacist for one. Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

A single use vial of interferon gamma-1b is for one dose only. After measuring your dose from the vial, throw the bottle away even if there is still some medication left in it.

Do not shake the medication vial (bottle). Vigorous shaking can ruin the medicine. Do not draw your interferon gamma-1b dose into a syringe until you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription. Store interferon gamma-1b in the refrigerator but do not allow it to freeze. Throw away any interferon gamma-1b that has been out of the refrigerator for more than 12 hours. Do not put it back into the refrigerator.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember the missed dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of an interferon gamma-1b overdose may include confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or flu-like symptoms.

What should I avoid while using Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while using interferon gamma-1b unless your doctor has told you otherwise.

Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using interferon gamma-1b and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • fast or uneven heart rate; or

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body.

Keep using interferon gamma-1b and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • problems with memory or concentration;

  • weakness, tired feeling, lack of coordination;

  • pain or redness where the injection was given;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • muscle or joint pain; or

  • headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Actimmune (interferon gamma-1b)?

There may be other drugs that can affect interferon gamma-1b. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about interferon gamma-1b written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Interferon gamma-1b is available with a prescription under the brand name Actimmune. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with other, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.06. Revision Date: 2/14/07 1:05:53 PM.

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