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Peginterferon and the Injection Kit

Clip Number: 2 of 7
Presentation: Peginterferon -- Self-injection Instructions
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Peginterferon 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 will give you the following supplies:
* A handout with step-by-step instructions,
* An insulated bag to keep your medications in,
* Syringes that are already filled with peginterferon,
* Needles,
* Alcohol swabs,
* Special red locking devices,
* And a 'sharps' container, for collecting used syringes and needles.
It's important to use the "sharps" container to dispose of the needles, because if someone were accidentally stuck by your used needles they could become infected with the hepatitis C virus.
There are several steps to remember when injecting the medicine. It's important that you become familiar with this information, so that 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 give 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 for giving the injection 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, don't inject too close to your bellybutton or your waistline. If you are very thin, you should also avoid the stomach area. Make sure you don't 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 gave it the last time.

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