The Pegasys Injection Kit
If you are taking combination therapy, it is important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for properly using and storing your peginterferon (pegylated interferon) medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a few different brands of peginterferon for treating hepatitis C. One brand, manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals, is called Pegasys. Pegasys often comes in an injection kit that contains all the supplies and instructions you will need.
Pegasys and the Injection KitPeginterferon is given by injection. Most people quickly become comfortable with the self-injections -- and their anxiety is usually relieved -- once they see how easy it is.
In order to give yourself the peginterferon injections, your healthcare provider may give you some, or all, of the following supplies:
- A handout with step-by-step instructions
- An insulated bag to keep your medications in
- Syringes that may already be filled with peginterferon (or empty syringes and vials of the medication)
- Alcohol swabs
- A "sharps" container, for collecting used syringes and needles.
It is important to use the sharps container to dispose of the needles, because if one of your used needles accidentally stuck someone, that person could become infected with the hepatitis C virus.
There are several steps to remember when injecting the Pegasys® medicine. It is important that you become familiar with this information so the medicine is given correctly and you don't have any problems.
You will give yourself an injection of peginterferon once a week. Make sure to administer the injection on the same day of each week at approximately the same time. This will keep the right amount of medicine in your body, and also make it easier to remember when to take the medicine.
The best places on your body to inject the Pegasys medicine are where you have a layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. For example, your thighs and stomach are good places for the injection. However, do not inject too close to your belly button or your waistline. If you are very thin, you should also avoid the stomach area. Make sure you do not inject the medication into the same site each week. Instead, give the injection in a different place on your body each time. Some people find it helpful to keep a record of where they have injected the medicine, so they don't have to remember where they administered it the last time.