interferon alfa n3 (Rx)

Brand and Other Names:Alferon N
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Dosing & Uses

AdultPediatricGeriatric

Dosage Forms & Strengths

injectable solution

  • 5 million unit/mL

Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)

250,000 unit (0.05 mL) per wart intralesional inj 2 times/week up to 8 weeks; not to exceed 2.5 million unit (0.5 mL) per treatment session

Do not administer any treatment for at least next 3 months unless warts enlarge or new appear

Administer into base of wart; for large warts, several points around periphery of wart may be used for total dose of 0.05 mL

<18 years old: safety & efficacy not established

Condylomata Acuminata (Genital Warts)

250,000 unit (0.05 mL) per wart intralesional inj 2 times/week up to 8 weeks; not to exceed 2.5 million unit (0.5 mL) per treatment session

Do not administer any treatment for at least next 3 months unless warts enlarge or new ones appear

Administer into base of wart; for large warts, several points around periphery of wart may be used for total dose of 0.05 mL

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Interactions

Interaction Checker

and interferon alfa n3

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      Serious - Use Alternative

        Significant - Monitor Closely

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              Serious - Use Alternative (0)

                Monitor Closely (7)

                • aldesleukin

                  interferon alfa n3 increases toxicity of aldesleukin by pharmacodynamic synergism. Use Caution/Monitor. Interferon (alfa) may enhance adverse effects which can include risk of myocardial and renal toxicity with concomitant use. Advisable to consider alternative therapy.

                • isavuconazonium sulfate

                  interferon alfa n3 and isavuconazonium sulfate both decrease immunosuppressive effects; risk of infection. Use Caution/Monitor.

                • ofatumumab SC

                  ofatumumab SC, interferon alfa n3. Either increases effects of the other by immunosuppressive effects; risk of infection. Use Caution/Monitor. Consider the risk of additive immune system effects when coadministering immunosuppressive therapies with coadministration. When switching from therapies with immune effects, take into account the duration and mechanism of action of these therapies when initiating ofatumumab SC.

                • ozanimod

                  ozanimod, interferon alfa n3. Either increases effects of the other by immunosuppressive effects; risk of infection. Use Caution/Monitor. Coadministration with immunosuppressive therapies may increase the risk of additive immune effects during therapy and in the weeks following administration. When switching from drugs with prolonged immune effects, consider the half-life and mode of action of these drugs in order to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects.

                • siponimod

                  siponimod and interferon alfa n3 both increase immunosuppressive effects; risk of infection. Use Caution/Monitor. Caution if coadministered because of additive immunosuppressive effects during such therapy and in the weeks following administration. When switching from drugs with prolonged immune effects, consider the half-life and mode of action of these drugs to avoid unintended additive immunosuppressive effects.

                • theophylline

                  interferon alfa n3 increases levels of theophylline by decreasing metabolism. Use Caution/Monitor. Greater risk of interaction in smokers.

                • zidovudine

                  interferon alfa n3 increases levels of zidovudine by decreasing metabolism. Use Caution/Monitor. Interferons may enhance potential for adverse effects. Patients should be monitored for signs and symptoms of increased myelosuppression and liver decompensation.

                Minor (0)

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                  Adverse Effects

                  >10%

                  Myalgia (45%)

                  Fever (40%)

                  Headache (31%)

                  Chills (14%)

                  Fatigue (14%)

                  Decreased WBC

                  1-10%

                  Dizziness (9%)

                  Depression

                  Insomnia

                  Pruritus

                  Diarrhea

                  Dyspepsia

                  Taste disturbance

                  Nausea/vomiting

                  Nose bleed

                  Groin and lymph node swelling

                  Pharyngitis

                  Arthralgia

                  Visual disturbance

                  Back pain

                  Paresthesia

                  Thirst

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                  Warnings

                  Contraindications

                  Hypersensitivity to human interferon alpha proteins, mouse IgG, egg proteins, or neomycin

                  Cautions

                  Use caution in cardiovascular disease, severe pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus with ketoacidosis, coagulopathies, severe myelosuppression, seizure disorder

                  Discontinue immediately if anaphylactic reactions develop

                  Safety/efficacy of repeat course not established

                  Theoretical remote possibility of pathogen transmission from albumin present in the solution

                  Do not change brands of interferon

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                  Pregnancy & Lactation

                  Pregnancy Category: C

                  Lactation: not known whether excreted in breast milk, do not nurse or do not initiate treatment

                  Pregnancy Categories

                  A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

                  B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

                  C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

                  D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

                  X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

                  NA: Information not available.

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                  Pharmacology

                  Mechanism of Action

                  Immunomodulating cytokine; may interfere with oncogene expression, induce gene transcription, may alter cellular differentiation and cell surface antigen expression , may increase phagocytic activity of macrophages, may inhibit cell growth

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                  Images

                  No images available for this drug.
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                  Patient Handout

                  Patient Education
                  interferon alfa-n3 injection

                  INTERFERON ALFA - INJECTION

                  (in-ter-FEER-on AL-fuh)

                  COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alferon N, Intron A, Roferon-A

                  WARNING: This medication can rarely cause or worsen serious (rarely fatal) medical conditions, including mental/mood conditions (e.g., depression), immune system problems (autoimmune conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis), circulation problems, or infections. If your medical history includes any of these conditions, tell your doctor promptly. Also, tell your doctor right away if any serious symptoms or side effects occur (see Side Effects section).This medication may be combined with ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C. Ribavirin may cause harm to an unborn baby or death. Women must avoid pregnancy while they or their male partners are using ribavirin. Ribavirin may cause a blood disorder (hemolytic anemia), which can worsen heart disease. If you are using this medication with ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C, also carefully read the drug information for ribavirin.

                  USES: This medication is used to treat various cancers (e.g., leukemia, melanoma, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma). It is also used to treat virus infections (e.g., chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, condylomata acuminata). This medication is the same as a protein that your body naturally produces (interferon). In the body, it is thought to work by affecting cell function/growth and the body's natural defenses (immune system) in many ways. Adding more interferon may help your body fight off cancer or virus infections.

                  HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide available from your pharmacist before you start using this drug and each time you get a refill. Learn all preparation and usage instructions given by the manufacturer. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.This medication is given by injection into a muscle or under the skin as directed by your doctor. Rotate the injection site each time you inject this medication to prevent soreness. It may also be given by injection into a vein or directly into a lesion, usually by a health care professional.If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Do not shake the medication container (vial or syringe). Doing so may decrease the effectiveness of the drug. 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. Never reuse single-use syringes or needles. It is okay to reuse the multidose pen. It is best used in the evening before bedtime to reduce side effects.Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not change the dose or how often you use this medication without your doctor's approval. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each evening that you have a scheduled dose.Different brands of interferon alfa can result in different amounts of medication in the blood. This medication comes in different forms (a powder in a vial, a solution in a vial, and a multidose pen). The way you inject this medication depends on the form you are using. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. Do not switch brands without your doctor's permission.

                  SIDE EFFECTS: Injection site reactions (pain/swelling/redness), headache, tiredness, diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, back pain, dizziness, dry mouth, taste changes, nausea, or vomiting may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle aches may occur, especially when you first start this medication. These symptoms usually last about 1 day after the injection and improve or go away after a few weeks of continued use. You can reduce these side effects by injecting this medicine at bedtime and using a fever reducer/pain reliever such as acetaminophen before each dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.Tooth and gum problems may sometimes occur during treatment. Having a dry mouth can worsen this side effect. Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water or using a saliva substitute. Brush your teeth well at least twice a day and have regular dental exams. If you experience vomiting during treatment, rinse your mouth afterwards to lessen the chance of tooth and gum problems.Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended.Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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: feeling too hot or cold (more than others around you), fast/irregular heartbeat, increased thirst/urination, menstrual changes (absent/delayed/irregular periods), numbness/tingling of hands/feet, swelling (especially of face/hands/feet), trouble sleeping, trouble walking, vision changes (such as blurred vision, partial loss of vision), easy bleeding/bruising, persistent nausea/vomiting, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, black/tarry stools, yellowing eyes/skin.Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: chest pain, seizures, weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking.This drug may cause you to develop serious mental/mood changes that may get worse during treatment or after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide or hurting others, unusual irritability, or aggressive behavior. If this occurs, psychiatric therapy and monitoring is recommended during and after treatment with this medication.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: See also Warning section.Before using interferon alfa, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as albumin), 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 cell disorders (e.g., anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia), blood clots, cancer, diabetes, eye problems, heart disease (e.g., angina, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, HIV infection, immune system diseases (e.g., lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis), intestinal disease (e.g., colitis), kidney disease, liver disease (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, decompensated liver disease), lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, asthma, pneumonia), mental/mood disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression), high blood triglyceride levels, pancreatitis, seizure disorder, thyroid disease, use/abuse of drugs/alcohol.This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).To lower your risk of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially mental/mood changes (such as severe depression, thoughts/attempts of suicide). Interferon and ribavirin may also slow down a child's rate of growth. Normal weight gain and rate of growth usually return after treatment is completed but the final adult height may be lower than expected. Monitor your child's height and weight periodically during treatment.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially dizziness, mental/mood changes, and effects on the heart.During pregnancy, interferon alfa should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.Interferon alfa, when used in combination with ribavirin, must not be used during pregnancy by either the pregnant woman or her male partner. The combination may cause harm to an unborn baby. Two reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) must be used whenever at least one sexual partner is using these medicines together, and for at least 6 months after stopping treatment. If you or your partner become pregnant, or if you think you or your partner may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.It is not known whether 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.Some products that may interact with this drug include: barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), colchicine, drugs that may affect your immune system (e.g., cancer chemotherapy, aldesleukin, cyclosporine), hydroxyurea, telbivudine, theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, theophylline).

                  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. Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine.

                  NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood counts, thyroid tests, kidney/liver function, triglyceride levels, eye exams) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Depending on your medical history, other tests (such as EKG) may be needed. Consult your doctor for more details.Do not change brands of interferon without checking with your doctor or pharmacist. Other interferons may not have the same effects on your disease.

                  MISSED DOSE: It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for 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 and moisture. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Consult the product instructions or your pharmacist for more storage details once this medication is mixed.The multidose pen may be used for up to 4 weeks after the first injection. Do not leave this medication outside of the refrigerator for more than 48 hours. After 4 weeks of use, discard the pen, even if it still contains unused solution.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.

                  Information last revised September 2021. Copyright(c) 2021 First Databank, Inc.

                  IMPORTANT: 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.

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                  Formulary

                  FormularyPatient Discounts

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                  The above information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only. Individual plans may vary and formulary information changes. Contact the applicable plan provider for the most current information.

                  Tier Description
                  1 This drug is available at the lowest co-pay. Most commonly, these are generic drugs.
                  2 This drug is available at a middle level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "preferred" (on formulary) brand drugs.
                  3 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs.
                  4 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  5 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  6 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  NC NOT COVERED – Drugs that are not covered by the plan.
                  Code Definition
                  PA Prior Authorization
                  Drugs that require prior authorization. This restriction requires that specific clinical criteria be met prior to the approval of the prescription.
                  QL Quantity Limits
                  Drugs that have quantity limits associated with each prescription. This restriction typically limits the quantity of the drug that will be covered.
                  ST Step Therapy
                  Drugs that have step therapy associated with each prescription. This restriction typically requires that certain criteria be met prior to approval for the prescription.
                  OR Other Restrictions
                  Drugs that have restrictions other than prior authorization, quantity limits, and step therapy associated with each prescription.
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                  Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.