What is peginterferon alfa-2a?
Peginterferon alfa-2a is anprescription medicine approved by the U.S. (FDA) for the treatment of chronic (HBV) and chronic (HCV).
HBV and HCV are opportunistic infections (OIs) of HIV. An OI is an What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet. To learn how HIV and HBV and HCV are connected, read the HIVinfo HIV and Hepatitis B and HIV and Hepatitis C fact sheets.that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo
How is peginterferon alfa-2a used in people with HIV?
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on the use of peginterferon alfa-2a to treat HBV infection in people with HIV.
The guidelines refer readers to the AASLD-IDSA HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and TreatingC for recommendations on the treatment of HCV infection in people with HIV. Although peginterferon alfa-2a is approved for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, the HCV Guidance recommends against the use of peginterferon-containing regimens to treat HCV infection, including in people with HIV. New, recently approved HCV drugs offer more effective, better tolerated treatment options.
The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of peginterferon alfa-2a.
See the guidelines and the HCV Guidance for complete information on recommended uses of peginterferon alfa-2a in adults and adolescents with HIV. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted above.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking peginterferon alfa-2a?
Before taking peginterferon alfa-2a, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to peginterferon alfa-2a or any other medicines.
- About any medical conditions you have or have had, for example, or problems.
- About any health conditions that may prevent you from receiving medicine by injection.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking peginterferon alfa-2a during pregnancy. Peginterferon alfa-2a may be given with another medicine called ribavirin. Because ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of an unborn child, ribavirin should not be used by pregnant women or by men whose partners are pregnant.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Peginterferon alfa-2a may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how peginterferon alfa-2a works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between peginterferon alfa-2a and the other medicines you take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from peginterferon alfa-2a. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How should I take peginterferon alfa-2a?
Take peginterferon alfa-2a according to your health care provider’s instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much peginterferon alfa-2a to take and when to take it. Before you start peginterferon alfa-2a and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How should peginterferon alfa-2a be stored?
- Store peginterferon alfa-2a single use vials, prefilled syringes, and autoinjectors in the refrigerator, between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not leave peginterferon alfa-2a out of the refrigerator for more than 24 hours.
- Do not freeze or shake peginterferon alfa-2a.
- Protect peginterferon alfa-2a from light.
- Vials, prefilled syringes, and autoinjectors are for single use only. Discard any unused portion remaining in the vial or prefilled syringe.
- Throw away peginterferon alfa-2a that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep peginterferon alfa-2a and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about peginterferon alfa-2a?
More information about peginterferon alfa-2a is available:
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of peginterferon alfa-2a, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV, prepared by the , the , and the HIV Medicine Association of the Diseases Society of America
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of peginterferon alfa-2a, from the AASLD-IDSA HCV Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C, prepared by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America
- Peginterferon alfa-2a-related research studies, from
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (solution), kit.
Last Reviewed: August 2, 2019