Actimmune : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?
Actimmune (Interferon gamma-1b) injection is used to reduce the frequency and severity of serious infections in people with chronic granulomatous disease (an inherited disease of the immune system). It is also used to delay the worsening of your condition in people with severe and malignant osteopetrosis (an inherited bone disease). Actimmune belongs to a class of medications called immunomodulators. Exactly how Actimmune works to treat chronic granulomatous disease and osteopetrosis is not known.

How should this medicine be used?
Actimmune (Interferon gamma-1b) injection comes as a solution to be injected subcutaneously (just under the skin) three times a week, for example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Inject the Actimmune injection at approximately the same time of day each time you inject it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Actimmune injection exactly as directed. Do not inject more or less or inject it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

You will receive your first dose of Actimmune in your doctor’s office. Then you can inject Actimmune yourself or ask a friend or family member to give you the injections. Before using Actimmune for the first time, read the accompanying written instructions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medicine how to inject it.

Never reuse or share medicine syringes, needles, or vials. Dispose of used needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant container and dispose of used medicine bottles in the trash. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.

You can inject Actimmune into your upper arms, stomach area, or thighs. Choose a different place each time you inject your medicine. Do not inject your medication into irritated, bruised, red, infected or scarred skin.

Your doctor or pharmacist will provide you with the manufacturer’s patient information sheet when you start treatment with Actimmune and each time you get a refill. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving Actimmune,
•  Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Actimmune injection, products made with E. colibacteria, any other medications, or any of the other ingredients of Actimmune injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.

•  Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

•  Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, a low number of low red or white blood cells, heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, or heart or liver disease.

•  Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving Actimmune injection, call your doctor.

•  You should know that you may have flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, chills, muscle aches, and tiredness after the injection. Your doctor may direct you to take acetaminophen (Tylenol), an over-the-counter pain and fever medicine, to help with these symptoms. Talk to your doctor if these symptoms are difficult to manage or become severe.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dose of Actimmune injection, do not increase the dose or give two injections to make up for the missed dose. Call your doctor if you miss a dose and have questions about what to do.

Actimmune injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • extreme tiredness
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • muscle or joint pain
  • problems with walking
  • bruising, redness, swelling, bleeding, or irritation at the injection spot

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, stop the medication and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, tongue, and throat

Actimmune injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the refrigerator and out of the reach of children. Actimmune can be left at room temperature for no more than 12 hours. Do not freeze Actimmune.

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department for information on return programs in your community. Check out the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the Poison Control Helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.

What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Actimmune

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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