Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood counts: This medication can decrease the number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection), red blood cells (which carry oxygen), and platelets (which help your blood to clot). Your doctor will do blood tests to monitor this. If you notice any signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, or sore throat) or unusual bleeding or bruising, or unusual and unexplained tiredness, contact your doctor immediately.
Depression and suicidal behaviour: If you have or have had depression or bipolar disorder, you may be at an increased risk of feeling agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like yourself), or wanting to hurt yourself or others. If you develop severe depression or experience other mood or behaviour changes, stop using this medication and contact your doctor immediately. If you have thoughts or feelings about harming yourself, get immediate medical attention.
Fever and flu-like symptoms: This medication can cause fever and other flu-like symptoms such as chills and headache. Gradually increasing the dose of this medication when you start using it should also help reduce these symptoms. Your doctor may suggest that you take acetaminophen if you develop these symptoms.
If you have a persistent fever while using this medication, contact your doctor.
Heart problems: This medication may worsen symptoms of heart disease. If you have heart disease such as angina, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you develop symptoms of heart problems such as shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or swollen ankles.
Liver function: Peginterferon beta-1a may cause decreased liver function and occasionally, liver failure. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may recommend regular liver tests while you are using this medication. If you have severe changes in liver function, your doctor may recommend that you take a lower dose of this medication or stop taking it altogether.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Seizures: There have been occasional reports of seizures occurring with interferons. Seizures are more likely to occur when higher doses of this medication are taken. If you have a history of epilepsy or medical conditions that increase the risk of seizures, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Thyroid problems: Some people taking this medication develop changes in the function of their thyroid. Symptoms of these changes include increased sweating, rapid heartbeat, weight loss without a change in your diet or amount of exercise you get, or feeling emotional or anxious. Contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. It is important to use effective birth control while taking this medication.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if peginterferon beta-1a passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What medications can interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between peginterferon beta-1a and any of the following:
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtriphylline, theophylline)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Plegridy