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PegIntron Side Effects

When PegIntron was studied in clinical trials, some of the most commonly reported side effects included fatigue, headaches, and skin reactions at the injection site. In most cases, reactions such as these are mild and generally easy to treat. However, side effects of this drug can be potentially dangerous in some cases. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop suicidal thoughts, chest pain, or vision problems.

An Introduction to PegIntron Side Effects

Just like any medicine, PegIntron® (peginterferon alfa-2b) can cause side effects. Most people using this medicine will develop some sort of side effect. In many cases, the reactions are merely bothersome and not usually dangerous. In other cases, the side effects may be so severe or dangerous that the medication must be stopped.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with PegIntron. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of PegIntron

PegIntron has been studied extensively. In these studies, some of the people were treated with PegIntron, while others were treated with other similar interferon medications. The side effects that occurred in the two groups were carefully documented and compared. In most of the studies, people were also treated with ribavirin (Rebetol®), as this drug helps improve the effectiveness of interferon.
In these studies, the most common PegIntron side effects included:
  • A skin reaction at the injection site -- in up to 75 percent of people
  • Fatigue -- up to 66 percent
  • Headache -- up to 62 percent
  • Muscle pain -- up to 56 percent
  • Shaking/shivering chills -- up to 48 percent
  • Anxiety, irritability, or moodiness -- up to 47 percent
  • Fever -- up to 46 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 43 percent
  • Chills -- up to 39 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 38 percent.
Other common side effects of PegIntron, occurring in 5 percent to 36 percent of people, included:
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Weight loss
  • Right upper chest pain
  • Chest pain
  • A general ill feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Low white blood cells
  • Anemia
  • Low blood platelets
  • Enlarged liver
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Menstrual changes or problems
  • Viral infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus infection
  • Hair loss
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Dry skin
  • Taste changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Rash.

PegIntron Drug Information

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