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Peginterferon Alfa-2b

Clinical Effects of Peginterferon Alfa-2b

Studies have evaluated using peginterferon alfa-2b for hepatitis C. In one study, 41 to 75 percent people using peginterferon alfa-2b with ribavirin had no evidence of hepatitis C 24 months after treatment, as measured by undetectable virus levels in the blood. Different rates of response were seen with different types of hepatitis C.
Studies have evaluated using peginterferon alfa-2b for malignant melanoma. In one study, people who received injections weekly after surgery had, on average, about 34.8 months before a relapse. Similar people who were not given peginterferon alfa-2b after surgery had, on average, 25.5 months before a relapse. While these results were promising, no difference was seen in survival between the two groups.

When and How to Use This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with peginterferon alfa-2b include the following:
  • Peginterferon alfa-2b comes as an injection. It is injected subcutaneously (just under the skin) once a week for up to one year (for hepatitis) or for up to five years (for melanoma).
  • Inject peginterferon alfa-2b on the same day each week. Pick a day and time that is easy to remember.
  • This medication comes as injection pens or in vials. Either way, each vial or pen is for a single use only. Any unused portion must be discarded; it cannot be saved for later.
  • It is best to inject peginterferon alfa-2b into areas of the skin that have a layer of fat underneath. This includes the thigh, the outer upper arm, or stomach (away from the belly button). Try to rotate the injection sites; do not inject in the same place twice in a row.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider teaches you exactly how to inject peginterferon alfa-2b. This includes:
    • How to prepare the skin
    • How to prepare and mix the injection
    • How to inject the medication
    • What to do with your used needles (this may vary, depending on the local laws and regulations).
If you are not comfortable with any part of the process, please let your healthcare provider know.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Peginterferon alfa-2b will not work if you stop using it too soon.
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Peginterferon Alfa-2b Drug Information

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