Giving the Pegasys Injections
Pegasys (peginterferon) is given by injection once a week. If your healthcare provider prescribes Pegasys injections as part of your treatment plan for hepatitis C, he or she will show you how to give the injections and also give you written instructions. When giving the Pegasys injection, it is important to keep the area around you clean, correctly prepare the syringe, and give the injection in the right way at the right time. Disposing of your used needles and syringes properly is also very important. If you miss an injection, let your healthcare provider know and he or she will instruct you on when to take the next dose of peginterferon.
Preparing the SyringeDepending on the type of Pegasys peginterferon your healthcare provides prescribes, the syringes you will be using for your injections may have already been filled with medication. If not, your healthcare provider will show you how to fill the syringe with peginterferon from the vials you receive. In either case, each syringe and needle should only be used one time. This article assumes that you are using the pre-filled Pegasys syringes.
To prepare for your injection, first clean the surface of the table or countertop you will be using with an alcohol swab or with antibacterial soap. Then collect all the materials you will need for the injection. You will want to have everything sitting in one place, easily within your reach.
Start by taking the Pegasys injection kit out of the refrigerator and removing one syringe. Make sure the rest of your peginterferon stays in the refrigerator.
Next, get a needle, an alcohol swab, and a bandage and lay them all down next to the syringe. You will want to have the "sharps" container within reach -- it should be close by right after you give the injection. You may also want to have the step-by-step instruction guide nearby to remind you of how to give the injection.
The first step is to warm the peginterferon syringe. To do this, gently roll the syringe between your hands for about a minute. After you have finished warming the syringe, set it down next to the needle and wash your hands with soap and warm water. It is very important that your hands are clean before giving yourself an injection.
The next step is to put the needle onto the syringe (if it isn't already attached). Your healthcare provider can show you the proper way to do this. Keep the needle covered with the safety shield until you are ready to give yourself the injection.
Keep the syringe in a horizontal position until you are ready to give yourself the injection. If you need to set the syringe down, make sure the safety shield stays on and covers the needle. Never let an uncovered needle touch any surface because it might get dirty.