Brand Name(s):

  • Actimmune®

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Your doctor has ordered interferon gamma-1b. This drug is a manmade version of a substance normally produced by your body's cells to help fight infections, and it is used to treat patients with chronic granulomatous disease. The drug will be injected under your skin three times a week. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Your healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before administering interferon gamma-1b,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to interferon gamma-1b or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease or seizures.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using interferon gamma-1b, call your doctor.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Before you administer interferon gamma-1b, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your healthcare provider.

It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your healthcare provider.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

The most common side effects from interferon gamma-1b are flu-like symptoms which include fever, headache, chills, muscle pain, and fatigue. Your healthcare provider may advise you to inject your dose of interferon gamma-1b at bedtime to lessen these effects.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your healthcare provider immediately:

  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stool

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

  • Your healthcare provider probably will give you a several-day supply of interferon gamma-1b at a time. If you are receiving interferon gamma-1b, you probably will be told to store it in the refrigerator.
  • Take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature. Do not let the vial remain out of the refrigerator for more than 12 hours.
  • Do not allow interferon gamma-1b to freeze.

Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.

Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, and containers to avoid accidental injury.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

If you are receiving interferon gamma-1b under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of an infection where the needle enters your skin. If you experience any of these effects near your site of injection, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible:

  • tenderness
  • warmth
  • irritation
  • drainage
  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.