Interferon alfa-2b comes as a powder in a vial to mix with liquid and as a solution to inject either subcutaneously (just under the skin), intramuscularly (into a muscle), intravenous (into the vein), or intralesionally (into a lesion). It is best to inject the medication at around the same time of day on your injection days, usually in the late afternoon or evening.
If you have:
HCV, inject the medication either subcutaneously or intramuscularly three times a week.
HBV, inject the medication either subcutaneously or intramuscularly three times a week usually for 16 weeks.
hairy cell leukemia, inject the medication either intramuscularly or subcutaneously 3 times a week for up to 6 months.
malignant melanoma, inject the medication intravenously for 5 consecutive days for 4 weeks, then subcutaneously three times per week for 48 weeks.
follicular melanoma, inject the medication subcutaneously three times per week for up to 18 months.
genital warts, inject the medication intralesionally three times weekly on alternate days for 3 weeks, then treatment may be continued for up to 16 weeks.
Kaposi's sarcoma, inject the medication either subcutaneously or intramuscularly three times a week for 16 weeks.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use interferon alfa-2b injection exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of this medication or use it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may decrease your dose if you experience serious side effects of the medication. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling during your treatment and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about the amount of medication you should use.
You will receive your first dose of interferon alfa-2b in your doctor's office. After that, you can inject interferon alfa-2b yourself or have a friend or relative give you the injections. Before you use interferon alfa-2b for the first time, you or the person who will be giving the injections should read the manufacturer's information for the patient that comes with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it. If another person will be injecting the medication for you, be sure that he or she knows how to avoid accidental needlesticks.
If you are injecting this medication subcutaneously, inject interferon alfa-2b anywhere on your stomach area, upper arms, or your thighs, except near your waistline or around your navel (belly button). Do not inject your medication into skin that is irritated, bruised, reddened, infected, or scarred.
If you are injecting this medication intramuscularly, inject interferon alfa-2b in your upper arms, thighs, or outer area of the buttocks. Do not use the same spot two times in a row. Do not inject your medication into skin that is irritated, bruised, reddened, infected, or scarred.
If you are injecting this medication intralesionally, inject in directly into the center of the base of the wart.
Never reuse syringes, needles, or vials of interferon alfa-2b. Throw away used needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant container, and throw away used vials of medication in the trash. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.
Before you use interferon alfa-2b, look at the solution in the vial. The medication should be clear and free of floating particles. Check the vial to make sure there are no leaks and check the expiration date. Do not use the solution if it is expired, cloudy, contains particles, or is in a leaky vial.
You should only mix one vial of interferon alfa-2b at a time. It is best to mix the medication right before you plan to inject it. However, you may mix the medication in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and use within 24 hours. Be sure to take the medications out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before you inject it.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with interferon alfa-2b and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.