Interferon Alfa-2a

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

Interferon alfa-2a is used to treat certain types of cancer and hepatitis, or it may be used to treat other conditions in your child.

Ask your child's doctor exactly what this drug is being used for if you are not sure.

It is available as an injectable medication that can be given intramuscularly (into the muscle), subcutaneously (under the skin) or intravenously (IV).

  • Do not shake the vial. This may cause the drug to be less effective.
  • Store this medication in the refrigerator. After reconstitution (mixing), it may be stored for 24 hours at room temperature or 30 days refrigerated.
  • If your child is taking this medication daily, the dose should be given at approximately the same time each day.
  • Your child's doctor may want to draw your child's blood to check for side effects while he/she is receiving this medication.
  • Your child's doctor may want your child to take acetaminophen or another medication prior to giving interferon alfa-2a to help prevent side effects.
  • Since a change in dose may be required with different brands of interferon alfa-2a, do not change brands without notifying your child’s doctor.
  • If too much medicine is taken by accident, call the Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC), 513-636-5111 or 1-800-222-1222, or call your child's doctor immediately.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children.

For any medication information related to your child's dosing schedule and/or missed doses, contact the healthcare provider who prescribed the medication.

  • Dry skin and/or itching
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms after giving the drug, including chills, fever, weakness and headache (may last for 48 hours)
  • Persistent cough
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Unusual or depressive thoughts or behaviors
  • Swelling of the hands or feet or unusual weight gain
  • Severe sore throat
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Confusion or seizures
  • Rash

Last Updated 11/2013