Plegridy 125 mcg/0.5 mL subcutaneous syringe

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Medication name

Generic name:
Peginterferon beta 1a - subcutaneous injection

Pronunciation
(peg-IN-ter-FEER-on BAY-ta wun ay)

Brand name(s)
Plegridy

Uses

This medication is used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Peginterferon is not a cure for MS, but it may help to decrease the number of episodes of disease worsening (relapses) and slow the worsening of the disease.

How to use

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Instructions for Use Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using peginterferon and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.

If this medication is stored in the refrigerator, remove the medication from the refrigerator and let it warm at room temperature for about 30 minutes before injecting. Do not use heat sources (such as warm water) to warm this medication.

Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. Do not inject into skin that is irritated, bruised, scarred, or infected. Inject this medication under the skin in the thigh, abdomen, or the back of the upper arm as directed by your doctor, usually every 14 days. Check the injection site 2 hours after injecting to see if there is any reaction at the injection site. Tell the doctor of any skin reactions that do not go away after a few days.

To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. A starter pack with different doses of this medication may be used when starting this medication. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time and same day of the week.

You may need to take other medications to reduce common side effects such as fever and pain (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen). Consult your doctor or pharmacist about how to use these medications safely with peginterferon.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.

Side effects

Pain, redness, itching, or swelling at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Flu-like symptoms (such as headache, fever, chills, weakness, nausea/vomiting, muscle aches/pain) may also occur, especially when you first start this medication. You can reduce these side effects by using fever reducers/pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • mental/mood changes (such as depression, rare thoughts of suicide)
  • symptoms of liver disease (such as persistent nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine)
  • pus or change in skin color (blue-black) at the injection site
  • signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat)
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • fast/slow/irregular heartbeat
  • new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain)
  • intolerance to cold or heat
  • signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine)

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • seizures
  • chest pain

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using peginterferon, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to interferon; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • blood disorders (such as anemia, low platelets, low white blood cells)
  • bleeding problems
  • heart disease (such as heart failure, angina, fast/irregular heartbeat)
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • mental/mood disorders (such as depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts)
  • seizures
  • thyroid disease

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function, complete blood count) may be performed to monitor your progress and check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed dose

For the best possible benefit, it is important to use each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light. Do not freeze. Do not use the medication if it has been frozen. Keep the medication in the closed original carton to protect from light. If needed, the medication may be stored outside the refrigerator between 36-77 degrees F (2-25 degrees C) for up to 30 days. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Important note

HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Information last revised December 2017.

Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.

The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.