November 23, 2014
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PEGASYS

(peginterferon alfa-2a)

DIN (Drug Identification Number)

02248077 PEGASYS 180 G/0.5ML
02248078 PEGASYS 180G/ML VIAL

How does PEGASYS work? What will it do for me?

Peginterferon alfa-2a belongs to the class of medications known as interferons. It is used to treat chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C, which are diseases of the liver. Peginterferon alfa-2a works by helping the immune system fight the hepatitis B and C virus, and by making it harder for the virus to reproduce within the body.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use PEGASYS?

The usual dose of peginterferon alfa-2a is 180 µg once weekly for a period of 48 weeks. If there is no improvement after 12 weeks of use, your doctor may stop the treatment. This medication is usually injected under the skin (subcutaneously) in the abdomen or thigh.

If you are giving yourself the injections, it is very important that you very carefully follow your health care professional's directions and the instructions included with the medication. After the medication has been mixed, it should be used right away. Needles and syringes should never by reused. All used needles and syringes should be put into a sharps container and kept out of the reach of children.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss a dose of peginterferon alfa-2a and remember within 2 days of the scheduled dose, give the dose as soon as possible. If more than 2 days have passed, check with your doctor for further instructions. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Store this medication in the refrigerator, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Do not freeze or shake the medication. Do not use this medication if it is discoloured or has particles floating in it.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does PEGASYS come in?

180 µg/0.5 mL (prefilled syringe)
Each 0.5 mL of sterile, ready-to-use solution for subcutaneous injection contains peginterferon alfa-2a 180 µg (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a). Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride, 80 polysorbate, benzyl alcohol, sodium acetate trihydrate, acetic acid, and water for injection.

180 µg/mL (single use vial)
Each mL of sterile, ready-to-use solution for subcutaneous injection contains peginterferon alfa-2a 180 µg (expressed as the amount of interferon alfa-2a). Nonmedicinal ingredients: sodium chloride, 80 polysorbate, benzyl alcohol, sodium acetate trihydrate, acetic acid, and water for injection.

Who should NOT take PEGASYS?

Peginterferon alfa-2a should not be used by anyone who:

  • is allergic to peginterferon alfa-2a, any other interferon, to E. coli-derived products, to polyethyleneglycol, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is an infant
  • has autoimmune hepatitis
  • has decompensated cirrhosis
  • has HIV-HCV (human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus) with cirrhosis and a baseline Child-Pugh score greater than or equal to 6

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