An Overview of Pegasys (Peginterferon Alfa-2a)
August 28, 2017
What Is Peginterferon Alfa-2a?
Peginterferon alfa-2a is an antiviral prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. HBV and HCV infections are HIV-related opportunistic infections. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems -- such as those living with HIV -- than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about opportunistic infections, read the AIDSinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet. To learn how HIV and HBV and HCV infections are connected, read the AIDSinfo HIV and Hepatitis B and HIV and Hepatitis C fact sheets.
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents (Adult OI Guidelines), prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA) include recommendations on the use of peginterferon alfa-2a to treat HBV infection in people with HIV.
The Adult OI Guidelines refer readers to the Hepatitis C Guidance: AASLD-IDSA Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Adults Infected with Hepatitis C Virus for recommendations on the treatment of HCV infection in people with HIV. The Hepatitis C Guidance is prepared by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA). Although peginterferon alfa-2a is approved for the treatment of chronic HCV infection, the IDSA-AASLD Hepatitis C 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.
Please refer to the Adult OI Guidelines and the IDSA-AASLD Hepatitis C Guidance for more information.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Peginterferon Alfa-2a?
Before taking peginterferon alfa-2a, tell your health care provider:
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?
Where Can I Find More Information About Peginterferon Alfa-2a?
More information about peginterferon alfa-2a is available:
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (solution), kit.
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was originally published by AIDSinfo on Aug. 28, 2017. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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