PRECAUTIONS: See also Warning section.Before using peginterferon alfa-2a, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to polyethylene glycol (PEG); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: other severe liver disease (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, hepatic decompensation).Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: mental/mood disorders (e.g., depression), low blood counts (e.g., red cells, white cells, or platelets), heart disease, thyroid problems, autoimmune disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis), eye problems, kidney disease, lung disease (e.g., COPD, asthma, pneumonia), history of cancer, intestinal disease ( e.g., colitis), pancreatitis, history of drug/alcohol abuse, diabetes, other infections (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B, chickenpox), high blood triglyceride levels, history of organ transplant, liver problems (other than hepatitis C).Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor.Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured.This drug may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially mental/mood changes (such as severe depression, thoughts/attempts of suicide). Peginterferon and ribavirin may also slow down a child's rate of growth. Normal weight gain and rate of growth usually return after treatment is completed but the final adult height may be lower than expected. Monitor your child's height and weight periodically during treatment.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy because of possible serious harm to the unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control. It is recommended that men and women use birth control measures while being treated with this medication and for the 6 months after treatment has stopped. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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