Plegridy

1 What is Plegridy?

Brand: Plegridy, Plegridy Pen, Plegridy Pen Starter Pack, Plegridy Starter Pack

Generic: Peginterferon Beta-1a

Plegridy injection is an interferon beta-1a conjugated to a methoxy polyethylene glycol used for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

This drug will not cure MS, but it may slow some of the disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses of the disease. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Plegridy, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of peginterferon beta-1a have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. Studies in the elderly regarding the correlation of age to the effects of peginterferon beta-1a injection have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established.

Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs.

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Plegridy requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. A trained healthcare professional will be the only one to give you this drug. This drug is injected under your skin. You will be educated on how to administer this drug at home.

To prevent any side effects, take this drug exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Make sure you understand how to prepare, inject, and assess the stability of the drug.

The body areas where this drug can be injected will be shown to you. It is recommended to use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. An area of the body where the skin is irritated, reddened, bruised, infected, or scarred in any way must not be injected.

The injection site must be checked after 2 hours for redness, swelling, and tenderness. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.

Adults with multiple sclerosis are injected 63 micrograms under the skin on Day 1. Your healthcare professional will increase your dose to 94 mcg after 14 days, reaching the full dose of 125 mcg on Day 29. Then, 125 mcg injected under your skin every 14 days. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Plegridy, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of a serious liver problem such as:

  • Pain or tenderness in the upper stomach
  • Pale stools
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow eyes or skin

This drug may cause anxiousness, irritability, or other abnormal behaviors such as suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you notice any of these side effects.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Any swelling of your hands, face or mouth, while you are using this drug

This drug may cause redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site while some patients have developed a permanent depression under the skin at the injection site. Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you notice depressed or indented skin, blue-green to black skin discoloration, or pain, redness, or sloughing of the skin.

This drug commonly causes a flu-like reaction, with aching muscles, chills, fever, headaches, joint pain, and nausea. Using your shot at bedtime may allow you to sleep through the symptoms. Your healthcare professional may want you to take a drug to help control the pain or fever. Carefully follow your healthcare professional's instructions about how to prevent or treat these symptoms.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of heart problems or your body keeping too much water if you are rapidly gaining weight, having shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, irregular breathing, irregular heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet.

This drug may cause leukopenia and thrombocytopenia which can increase the risk of infection or bleeding. It is recommended to avoid people with infections. Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin. Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Youhealth careprofessional, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums.

Check with your medical healthcare professional before having any dental work done. Touching your eyes or the inside of your nose is not recommended unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.

Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects, such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters. Contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur should be avoided.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Plegridy. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Blue-green to black skin discoloration
  • Chills
  • A cough or a sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Extremely high fever or body temperature
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Fast, weak, heartbeat
  • Fever
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness joint pain muscle aches and pains muscle cramps pale
  • Clammy skin
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Thirst
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased appetite
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • Itching skin
  • Light-colored stools
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Hives or welts large
  • Hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Redness of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • or Tightness in the chest

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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