Hepatitis C Home > Pegasys Overdose

If someone uses too much Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), it may cause any of the usual side effects of this medicine. However, massive overdoses may lead to serious problems, such as elevated liver enzymes or low blood platelets. Treatment will likely involve supportive care to treat any symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose.

Can You Use Too Much Pegasys?

Pegasys® (peginterferon alfa-2a) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of hepatitis C and hepatitis B. It is normally taken by injection.
The specific effects of an overdose are currently unknown, but would likely depend on the Pegasys dosage, whether it was taken by injection or by mouth, and various other factors.

Overdose Effects

In studies, overdoses with this drug did not seem to cause any serious problems, other than the usual Pegasys side effects. While somewhat reassuring, this cannot rule out the possibility of serious problems, especially in the case of a massive overdose.
In studies of Pegasys for cancer treatment, high doses (several times higher than doses used to treat hepatitis) were used. Effects of such high doses included:
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Low neutrophils (a type of white blood cell)
  • Low blood platelets.
If a Pegasys overdose is taken by mouth, it is not expected to cause serious problems, although this is not known for certain. Pegasys is a delicate protein that must be injected because it would be destroyed by the digestive system if taken by mouth.

Treatment for a Pegasys Overdose

It is not known how best to treat an overdose with Pegasys. Therefore, treatment will likely involve supportive care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you believe that you or someone else may have used too much of this medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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