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Interferon is a drug that has a direct effect on the body's immune system. It has a pronounced antiviral, antiproliferative, as well as antitumor effect.
Release form and composition
The active substance of the drug Interferon is a specific protein synthesized by human leukocytes.
The medicine is available in the following forms:
- Lyophilized powder
- Solution for local use,
- Rectal suppositories.
Features of the children's immune system
If a healthy adult human immune system works quite effectively and successfully protects the body from the penetration of bacteria and viruses, then the child’s immunity is characterized by its own characteristics. One of the main protective barriers to microorganisms is the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. In a baby, they differ in regulatory and morphofunctional immaturity, and also have imperfect microbiocenosis.
Young children are at risk because of the immaturity of the immune system and the failure of the body's immune response to virus invasion.
The immune system of a child under two years goes through three critical periods of development:
- From birth to 28 days of life. This period is characterized by depression of the infant’s immune system, immaturity of its cells, their functions and the cytokines produced by them. The protective properties of interferon (IFN) produced by the immune system of a newborn are insignificant compared with that of an adult. In fact, at this time, the child’s immunity is passive, maternal antibodies are mainly responsible for protecting the body.
- From three to six months. During the second critical period, antibodies received from the mother are destroyed. The child's own primary immune response to infection through the synthesis of immunoglobulins practically does not form an immunological memory. Due to the insufficiency of the local immune system, the child has relapses of ARVI, dysbiosis, intestinal infections and skin diseases can be diagnosed. During this period, the child is extremely sensitive to parainfluenza viruses, to adenoviruses, rotaviruses, for the first time many hereditary diseases appear, the frequency of occurrence of food allergies increases.
- From a year to two years. The child’s frequency of contacts with the outside world increases, which means that there are much more opportunities for infection and viruses to enter his body. The immune response to infection is rearranged from childhood Th2 to Th1, which is already characteristic of an adult organism. The local immunity system is still immature, its response is less differentiated and less effective than in adults. At this time, babies are prone to relapse of viral diseases of ENT organs. According to experts, a significant part of children in this period is not yet ready to stay in kindergartens and for active contacts with others.
On a note
Interferon was first obtained and described in 1957 by the English scientist Alik Isaacs. And already in 1960 in the USSR received an antiviral drug based on human leukocyte interferon. In the mid-80s of the twentieth century, by genetic engineering, scientists obtained recombinant interferon, identical in composition to human interferon, but at the same time having a higher degree of purification from viral particles - IFN synthesis inducers. It is this artificial interferon that is used in modern medicines.
In acute viral infections, the child lacks its own interferon, and an additional source is needed to effectively combat the disease. The intake of interferon from the outside along with the drug helps to mobilize the child's immune system.
Particular attention is required by the so-called often ill children, in whom the production of interferon-alpha is reduced by about 20%, which means that the body's defenses are weakened. The use of recombinant interferon in the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections in children is caused pathogenetically, moreover, it is safe, since it complies with the IFN of the human body in composition. Interferon drugs not only effectively fight against an infectious disease, they are able to make up for the cytokine deficiency in the child’s body, and therefore, increase its ability to resist the disease. For frequently ill children, experts recommend conducting prolonged interferon therapyso that in their body the cells become resistant to infection and their own interferon depot is formed.
Indications for use
According to the instructions attached to Interferon, indications for its use depend on the form of release of the drug.
- Hepatitis B and C,
- Genital warts,
- Leukemia, hairy cell leukemia - tricholeukemia,
- Tick-borne Encephalitis
- Condition after surgical treatment of laryngeal respiratory papillomatosis,
- Myeloma is multiple,
- T-cell lymphoma - fungal mycosis,
- Non-Hodgkin lymphomas,
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Kaposi's sarcoma in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
- Malignant melanoma,
- Thrombocytosis - primary (essential) and secondary,
- Chronic granulocytic leukemia and myelofibrosis are transitional forms.
Interferon in the form of suppositories:
- Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome,
- Viral hepatitis,
- Immunodeficiency states of a secondary nature.
Lyophilized powder and solution for local application:
- Prevention and treatment of influenza, SARS,
- Eye diseases of viral etiology.
Interferon preparations for children
Children's medications based on interferon are prescribed at the very first signs of acute respiratory viral infections in a child. They are shown to almost all age groups, including very young children. It is important that most drugs with IFN have no contraindications: they include only individual intolerance to the components. As for the limitations, interferon preparations should be used with caution in the presence of autoimmune and allergic diseases.
All modern preparations containing interferon can be divided into two groups in accordance with the method of application.
This group includes the already familiar drops and sprays. The total effect of nasal agents on the child's body with SARS and influenza is minimal. Their other advantage is that they act in the very center of the introduction of the virus - on the mucosa of the respiratory tract. That is why experts recommend the use of nasal agents for the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections. Unlike vasoconstrictive drops, which only fight symptoms, interferon-based nasal agents act on the cause of the disease, that is, on viruses, blocking their ability to reproduce and thereby inhibiting the development of the disease.
Suppositories (in the form of suppositories)
This form is most convenient for children of the youngest age group (from birth to two years), because when using a candle, a child cannot burp a medicine, spit it out, refuse to open his mouth or interfere with the treatment process in some other way. With the introduction of a suppository, the active substance is absorbed by the hemorrhoidal vein system and immediately begins to work actively, providing a systemic antiviral effect on the child's body. In this case, medicinal substances bypass the gastrointestinal tract, in which the aggressive effect of hydrochloric acid and enzymes can significantly reduce the therapeutic effect. Some substances themselves can damage the mucous membrane of the intestines and stomach, but this does not occur with the use of suppositories.
Today, three drugs based on interferon in the form of suppositories, Genferon® Light, Viferon and Kipferon, are registered in the Russian Federation. All these funds are approved for use in children from the first days of life. However, there are serious differences between the drugs.
First of all, they differ in the dosage of interferon:
- Viferon - 150,000 IU,
- Genferon® Light - 125,000 IU,
- Kipferon - 500,000 IU.
Such a different dosage is due to the fact that under the influence of oxygen, interferon molecules begin to break down, which means that a drug that does not have antioxidants can lose its activity even during storage. The maximum content of interferon is noted in the Kipferon preparation, which does not contain antioxidants, and therefore, to achieve a therapeutic effect, it uses a high dosage of the active substance. However, the drug load, which in this case is experienced by the body, is quite high.
Additional components — vitamins C and E — act as antioxidants in the Viferon preparation. This made it possible for the manufacturer to reduce the dosage to 150,000 IU, but at the same time maintain the therapeutic effect and reduce the drug load.
In Genferon® Light candles, the active substance content is the lowest - 125,000 IU, while the therapeutic activity of suppositories remains high. This effect is ensured by the presence of a special amino acid, taurine, in the drug, which has a powerful antioxidant effect and protects interferon molecules from destruction.
Actually, the presence of additional components in the composition is the second difference between the drugs from each other. Genferon® Light 125,000 IU is the only combination drug with taurine and interferon. Taurine, as already mentioned, has its own antiviral activity and even at its maximum concentration does not negatively affect the cells of the human body. Scientific studies have shown that the combination of interferon with antioxidants, in particular with taurine, has a higher antiviral effect than interferon monopreparations: about one and a half times higher with the influenza virus and six times with herpes virus.
The use of Interferon is contraindicated in the following diseases and conditions:
- Chronic heart failure
- Acute myocardial infarction - acute period,
- Autoimmune diseases
- Diabetes - severe forms,
- Lung diseases
- Hepatic or renal failure,
- Cirrhosis of the liver,
- Thyroid disease
- Severe mental disorders, epilepsy,
- Lactation period.
The use of Interferon requires caution in case of post-infarction cardiosclerosis, arrhythmias, herpes simplex, impaired bone marrow hematopoiesis, and also during pregnancy.
Dosage and administration
Interferon is used in the form of a solution prepared on the basis of boiled or distilled water at room temperature. To do this, pour the water into the opened ampoule to the mark that corresponds to 2 ml. After this, the ampoule must be shaken until the powder is completely dissolved. After dilution, the solution becomes red; it should be stored in a cool place for no more than 48 hours. In each nasal entrance, 5 drops of the solution 2 times a day should be administered. The interval between use is at least 6 hours.
The most effective is the inhalation method of using Interferon. To do this, the contents of 3 ampoules should be dissolved in 10 ml of water and heated to a temperature of no higher than 37 degrees. Multiplicity of procedures - 2 times a day. The duration of treatment is 2-3 days.
For the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections, according to the instructions, Interferon must be used when the first signs of the disease appear.
Before starting treatment with Interferon Alfa, the susceptibility of the microflora that caused the disease should be determined. For the treatment of leukemic reticuloendotheliosis, an initial dose of 3000000ME is prescribed for daily subcutaneous or intramuscular administration for 4-6 months. The maintenance dose is 3000000MU for intramuscular administration 3 times a week. Treatment should be carried out under the supervision of a physician.
For the treatment of Kaloshi sarcoma in AIDS patients, an initial dose of 36000000MU is prescribed intramuscularly. The duration of therapy is 2-3 months. A maintenance dose of 36000000ME is administered daily 3 times a week.
The course of therapy with rectal suppositories Interferon should not exceed 15 days. The dose of the drug is prescribed individually and is adjusted by the attending physician.
For children, Interferon is recommended as a prophylactic during epidemic outbreaks of acute respiratory viral infections.
What else is important to consider when choosing
When choosing a drug with interferon for the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections in a young child, in addition to the composition and form of release, it is recommended to take into account some other criteria:
- At first, pay attention to the treatment regimen. The simpler it is, the less the number of uses of the drug - the better.
- Secondly, find out exactly how much medicine is needed per course. Sometimes it happens that there is not enough purchased packaging for a course, and parents have to buy a new packaging literally because of one or two tricks and incur additional costs.
- Thirdly, the cost of the drug plays a big role in choosing, but this should not be a decisive criterion. Still, the effectiveness and safety of the drug should be put in the first place, especially since it is about the health of the child.
Today, drug manufacturers offer parents more and more new drugs for the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections. But it should be remembered that their thoughtless use, especially on the advice of relatives or acquaintances, can do more harm than good. The doctor should treat the child.
Means with a combination of interferon and taurine for children
Suppositories and nasal drops containing interferon and taurine can be used for children from a very early age - at the first signs of SARS. The most convenient form in this case is rectal suppositories, the benefits of which we have already mentioned above.
As an example of such a drug, “Genferon® light” 125,000 IU, which includes interferon alpha-2b and taurine, can be cited. Suppositories are made specifically for children, the size of the candles is small - they do not need to be divided into parts before use, as is sometimes recommended when using such drugs. A small suppository is conveniently used in children, since the formulation procedure is painless for the child. Candles are packed in foil strips, which ensures the stability of the product during storage. For the manufacture of the drug, hypoallergenic inert fat is used, due to which the suppositories do not melt in the hands immediately after extraction from the package.
As for the active substances of the drug, the recombinant interferon in its composition is as close to human as possible, and this minimizes the possibility of an allergic reaction. The combination of interferon with taurine allowed to reduce the dose of interferon, as well as to maintain and even increase the effectiveness of treatment.
It is very important that, unlike immunomodulating agents, whose action activates the body's production of its own interferons, the Genferon® Light suppositories 125,000 IU include ready-made interferon, which starts working immediately after it enters the body, reaching maximum activity after five hours after administration.
The course of taking the drug is five days, it is recommended to use one candle twice in knocking. One package of the drug is just designed for the course. Suppositories “Genferon® light” 125 000 IU are well perceived by the body, and the only contraindication for use in children is the individual intolerance to the components of the drug.
* The registration certificate number of the immunomodulating drug Genferon® Light is 125,000 IU in the State Register of Medicines - LSR-005614/09 of July 13, 2009.
The use of Interferon, especially with its parenteral administration, may cause the following side effects:
- Flu-like syndrome - headache, myalgia, fever, chills,
- Decreased appetite, impaired stool, nausea, vomiting, dry oral mucosa, heartburn, liver failure,
- Anemia, a decrease in the number of white blood cells and platelets in the blood,
- Fluctuations in pressure, chest pain, arrhythmias,
- Dizziness, decreased cognitive function and concentration, sleep disturbance, doubtfulness, numbness of the limbs or face, confusion, paresthesia, spasms of the calf muscles,
- Blurred vision, ischemic retinopathy,
- Dry skin, rash, itching, hair loss, hyperhidrosis,
- Violation of the thyroid gland.
During treatment with the antiviral drug Interferon, blood counts and liver function should be monitored. With severe thrombocytopenia, the drug should be administered subcutaneously.
In case of side effects from the central nervous system in patients receiving high doses of the drug, an additional examination is required, and if necessary, drug withdrawal.
To reduce the severity of the flu-like syndrome, parallel administration of paracetamol is indicated.
At the initial stage of treatment with Interferon, hydration therapy is necessary.
In patients with hepatitis C, an antiviral agent can cause dysfunction of the thyroid gland, so its use should be started only with a normal level of hormones.
During the use of Interferon, caution is required when driving vehicles and other moving mechanisms.
The medicine contains:
- natural human leukocyte interferon,
- sodium chloride,
- a mixture of sodium dihydrogen phosphate and dihydroginate,
- potato or corn starch,
- additional ingredients, excipients (flavors, fragrances).
The synonyms of Interferon include drugs Alfaferon, Diaferon, Interlok, Inferon, Leukinferon, Lockeron.
A similar pharmacological effect is possessed by such drugs as:
- Ronbetal and others.
According to the anatomical-therapeutic-chemical classification, Interferon (IFN) is assigned the code L03AB, as an antiviral and immunomodulating drug. In addition, the drug has an antitumor effect.
The active substance stimulates the activity of macrophages - the cells responsible for the function of cellular immunity. It increases the body's resistance to external viruses and blocks the reproduction of already penetrated cells. This is realized due to the ability of interferons to suppress translation of the matrix RNA of the pathogen.
Interferon is a universal antiviral drug. It is not characterized by viral specificity, its action is not directed against certain pathogens.
Alpha interferons do not affect the virus at the stages of adsorption, penetration and release - they are included in the work later. This component of the drug inhibits the production of viral proteins. It does not penetrate into the cell, but interacts with receptors on the membranes - gangliosides and structures, including oligosugar. The mechanism of this interaction is the activation of genes that encode the formation of antiviral products. Moreover, α-IFN is effective even when already infected RNA enters the cells. The action occurs a few hours after ingestion.
Beta-interferons also exhibit antiviral activity, and in several ways at once. First, they activate N0 synthetase, which helps to increase the concentration of nitric oxide in the cell. And this compound inhibits the reproduction of the virus. Secondly, β-IFNs trigger the effector functions of atural killers, B-lymphocytes, blood monocytes, mononuclear phagocytes and neutrophilic white blood cells. All of these particles are characterized by cytotoxicity - the ability to damage affected cells. Finally, the component under consideration blocks the release of the internal element of the virus in the process of its "undressing" and prevents the natural modification of its RNA.
Gamma interferons regulate the immune response and reduce the intensity of inflammatory processes. γ-IFN has antiviral and antitumor effects. But they are relatively weak, but this component of the drug significantly enhances the activity of α- and β-interferons.
The maximum concentration of the active substance in the blood is recorded 3-12 hours after ingestion in the nose or throat. The drug falls into the target point in full. The half-life of the drug from the body does not exceed 7 hours. During the day, it is completely removed from the human body.
With caution, it is necessary to take the drug at the same time as opioid analgesics, sedatives and hypnotics.
The instructions to Interferon indicate that it is necessary to store the drug in a dark, cool, dry and out of reach of children. The shelf life of the powder for the preparation of the solution is 1 year, the liquid solution is 2 years, and the candles are 2 years.
It is released from pharmacies according to the prescription of the attending physician.
Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics
The ability of a drug to enter the blood and its maximum concentration depends on the form of release of the drug, the route of administration:
- The tablets are absorbed completely in the gastrointestinal tract, the bioavailability of the active component (blood content) is 60%, and the ability to bind to proteins is 70%. The elimination half-life lasts up to a day. It is excreted mainly by the kidneys, partly through bile.
- Dry powder for inhalation enters through the respiratory tract, is absorbed into the blood in small doses (up to 30%), does not bind to blood proteins, the elimination period (with preserved kidney function) is 6-12 hours. Rectal suppositories, nasal drops have almost identical indicators: they are absorbed through the mucous membranes. Bioavailability is up to 90%. About 12 hours are excreted from the body.
- The solution for intravenous administration has a bioavailability of 100%, is excreted from the body for a day or more, therefore, parenteral use of the drug has the highest antiviral activity, it is used to relieve severe patients. It is used mainly for inpatient treatment, at home it is more convenient to be treated with other forms of medication.
Indications and contraindications for use
Take Interferon for adults and children is indicated for:
- viral diseases of the respiratory tract,
- chronic viral hepatitis B, C and Delta,
- oncological diseases: melanoma, pancreatic endocrine and carcinoid tumors, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma (in patients with AIDS), hairy cell leukemia, multiple myeloma, blood cancer and others,
- lesions of the eyes of herpevirus and adenovirus genesis,
- multiple sclerosis
- prevention of seasonal viral infections.
For the treatment of viral diseases, predominantly interferon alfa preparations are used. Viral hepatitis C is treated with pegylated (recombinant proteins connected to polyethylene glycol) interferons alpha-2a and alpha-2b (trademarks Pegasis, Pegitron). Conventional interferons in the treatment of these diseases are less effective. Moreover, in the treatment of viral hepatitis C of the first genotype, combined drug therapy - α-IFN plus Ribavirin (a synthetic analog of nucleosides with a pronounced antiviral effect) is effective.
But it is not always possible to use this drug. Here are the main contraindications:
- minor patients suffering from depression, other nervous and mental disorders, especially suicidal,
- individual intolerance to the individual components of this drug and preparations of protein origin,
- renal failure, if creatinine clearance does not reach 50 ml per minute (for prescribing combination therapy with Ribavirin),
- epilepsy (if previous treatment with similar drugs had no effect).
Release form, composition
A drug called Interferon contains alpha-2 proteins, as indicated on the package. In Russia, the medicine is produced by the companies SPbNIIIVS, Biocard, Microgen, Biomed, which also produce bacteriophages, serums, toxoids and other drugs.
From the pharmacy network they are released in two forms:
- Ready sterile solution, which is packaged in bottles or ampoules in a volume of 2 or 5 ml, their number in a package is 1, 5, 10 pieces. The solution is colorless or with a light pink tint.
- Lyophilisate is a dry preparation. To prepare a solution for inhalation or drops for the nose, it must be diluted with water for injection or saline. The drug is in transparent ampoules, which are packed in cardboard packaging of 4 or 10 pieces. The contents of the ampoule is a white creamy mass with a light cream, pink or yellow tint. Some manufacturers produce Interferon immediately with a solvent for the preparation of the solution, while others invest in a special nozzle for intranasal administration of the drug.
If the package says “Interferon human leukocyte”, then it is made from white blood cells, that is, human leukocytes. If the preparation says that it is recombinant, this means that Interferon is produced outside the human body, and most often it is synthesized by Escherichia coli, into which the necessary gene was previously inserted. This speeds up the production of the drug, in addition, with the use of recombinant Interferon, it is impossible to transmit any diseases through leukocyte cells, therefore they are more often used in children.
There are no additional components in the lyophilisate, there can only be additional ampoules with a solvent. The composition of the finished solution additionally includes:
- sterile water
- sodium chloride,
- sodium dihydrogen phosphate,
- sodium hydrogen phosphate.
Interferon for children is also in the form of suppositories and ointments. Other forms are also available for adults: eye drops and films, sprays, gels, vaginal and rectal suppositories, tablets, injection, implants. These forms of the drug have a different composition, in contrast to drops and lyophilisate.
How to use the drug for treatment
The drug is not intended for injection. It is used for intranasal administration and inhalation.
The optimal method of application, hourly intervals and dosage is determined by the doctor, based on the medical history, clinical picture, research results. In some cases, the course of treatment can be up to 14 days.
For treatment, instillation and spraying into the nose, inhalation are recommended. The composition for performing these procedures is prepared as follows. The ampoule with the drug is opened, the powder contained in it is diluted with 2 ml of distilled or boiled water (to the mark on the vessel), shaken until completely dissolved. You can store the resulting solution during the day at a temperature of no higher than 15 degrees.
The finished solution is instilled into the nose with an interval of 1-2 hours at least 5 times a day, 5-6 drops in each nostril. Do this with a pipette or syringe without a needle. Spraying is performed at the same frequency of 0.25 ml per application using the nozzle or sprayer included in the package.
Indications for use
Drops in the nose with Interferon are used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes in the presence of viral diseases. The medication prescribed by the pediatrician can be used in newborns from the first days of life. Indications:
- restoration and strengthening of immunity after prolonged antibiotic therapy,
- flu epidemic period
- adenovirus infection
- as part of the complex treatment of oncology after chemotherapy, radiation exposure,
- prevention and treatment of herpes,
- HIV, hepatitis.
Also, nasal drops are prescribed for children and adults as part of the complex treatment of papillomavirus infection.
Use in childhood
The exact dosage for children should be selected by a pediatrician. In order to prevent and treat acute respiratory viral infections, infants are dripped 2-3 drops every 2 hours, the maximum number of instillations per day is 5 times.
For prophylactic purposes during the period of influenza epidemics and treatment for viral infections, children are instilled with 5 drops 2 times a day. Between the procedures should be an interval of at least 6 hours. If it is not possible to drip the drops to the newborn, you can apply 2-3 drops to a cotton wool and insert into the nasal passages for 2-3 minutes. But this must be done carefully; you cannot push the turunda deep into the nose.
β-IFN is compatible with corticosteroid drugs and ACTH. It should not be taken during treatment myelosuppressive drugs, including cytostatics (this can provoke additive effect).
With caution, β-IFN is prescribed with agents whose clearance is largely dependent on cytochrome P450 systems (antiepileptic drugssome antidepressants and etc.).
Do not take α-IFN and Telbivudine. The simultaneous use of α-IFN provokes a mutually reinforcing action against HIV. When combined withphosphazide may mutually increase myelotoxicity both drugs (it is recommended to carefully monitor changes in the quantity granulocytes and hemoglobin level).
Interferon is often used with other drugs to make treatment more effective. Good results are achieved when combined with glucocorticosteroid and adrenocorticotropic hormones.
The simultaneous use of Interferon together with myelosuppressive medicines, including cytostatics, is not recommended. Joint administration is characterized by additivity, when the total effect is better than the results of monotherapy, but worse than if the drugs were taken separately.
Joint use with Telbivudine is prohibited, as this mutually enhances the effect on HIV infection.
Interferon is taken with caution with substances whose clearance depends on the cytochrome P450 system. These are antidepressants and drugs that stop epilepsy.
Combination therapy with phosphazide increases the myelotoxicity of both drugs.During treatment, hemoglobin and granulocytes should be monitored.
Use during pregnancy and lactation
Pregnancy and the period of breastfeeding are relative contraindications for the use of Interferon. Active active substances easily penetrate into mother’s milk and pass through the placental barrier. Therefore, the doctor should consider the potential risk and possible benefits when choosing this drug.
For the period of treatment with interferon preparations, it is recommended to pause breastfeeding. To mitigate side effects, paracetamol is prescribed at the same time.
Prescribing in childhood
They do not give injections to children. They are prescribed treatment with interferon preparations in the form of suppositories, drops and ointments. Babies up to three years old are allowed to instill in the nose and irrigate the mucous membrane, and later inhalation.
The medicine is used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. To prevent viral infections, a solution is prepared - the contents of the ampoule are diluted with distilled or boiled water. It is instilled into the nose or inhaled. This method of preventing infection is recommended for adults.
Terms of dispensing from pharmacies, shelf life
The drug can be destroyed by high temperature, so you need to store it in the refrigerator. While maintaining the integrity of the ampoules or vial, the shelf life of the drug is 2 years. After preparing the solution from the lyophilisate, it can also be stored only in the refrigerator for no more than 12 hours. If the finished solution was not used during this time, it is disposed of, a new ampoule is opened and a fresh one is prepared. The drug is dispensed from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
Terms of sale and storage
Interferon should be stored in a dark place at a temperature of 2 to 10 degrees. An open ampoule must be used within three days. If this could not be done, then it must be disposed of. Shelf life in closed form is 2 years.
The drug is produced by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche, American Schering-Plow and InterMune, the Russian NGO Microgen and others.
At the pharmacy, the medicine is dispensed with a prescription.
The drug Interferon has proven itself in the treatment and prevention of various diseases of a viral origin. It has an affordable price and high efficiency. You can buy it without a prescription. It is allowed for use even by newborns, but it is allowed to use only after consulting a pediatrician.
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Precautions before using the drug
Before using this drug, especially with a systemic effect (as an injection), it is recommended to undergo a full examination of the body. Particular attention is paid to the general and biochemical analysis of blood. Thanks to these analyzes, hidden diseases of the liver, kidneys, and hematopoiesis system can be detected. Taking the drug can negatively affect the condition of these organs.
It is also recommended to periodically repeat the control analysis of peripheral blood indicators, the results of the activity of liver enzymes, creatinine, and blood sugar. With diabetes and hypertension, an examination of the fundus is necessary. Treatment with interferon in the presence of chronic heart failure, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, must be carried out under the supervision of a cardiologist.
Is it possible to use interferon during pregnancy?
Interferon is undesirable to use during pregnancy. According to the American Association for the Control of Drug Quality, this drug can be used if the potential health benefits of the mother outweigh the risk to the fetus. Despite this, a number of studies suggest that the frequency of preterm birth and cases of fetal growth retardation increases if pregnant women take interferon.
This drug can be used as an antiviral and antitumor agent if the woman is not pregnant. After pregnancy, you can choose safer analogues that will help maintain the health of the fetus and the unborn baby.
Can I use interferon in childhood?
There are different opinions about the possibility of using this drug in childhood. Many doctors say that it is impossible to stimulate immunity in childhood, as this can potentially cause its insufficiency afterwards. In addition to many drugs containing interferon, manufacturers write about a ban on its use in childhood. However, there are some dosage forms designed specifically for children.
Injectable interferon is completely prohibited for use in children. One of the drugs that can officially be used in childhood is viferon. This drug is presented in the form of ointments, gels and suppositories. Ointments and gels when used locally do not have a resorptive (systemic) effect and do not lead to side effects. Suppositories can be used for general treatment, since the content of the active substance in them is quite small - up to 1 million IU. It should be noted that the effect of using the drug can be obtained only after a few days, so there is not always a need for its use. Before using the drug, consult a pediatrician.
Side effects of interferon
Interferon is a drug that has many side effects. It negatively affects almost all systems and organs of a person. This circumstance is very important with prolonged use of the drug as part of course therapy. About 20% of patients discontinue its use due to the development of side effects. Before using the drug, patients must be notified of possible side effects. If some of them occur, it is possible to correct side effects with the help of other medicines.
Side effects when using the drug are found, as a rule, after injection. Even the correct method of using the drug will not help to avoid such phenomena. However, the use of ointments, gels and drops containing this substance usually does not lead to side effects.
When using interferon, side effects and disorders of the following systems and organs are observed:
- Blood and lymphatic system. Sometimes there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells due to a decrease in the activity of blood formation processes.
- The cardiovascular system. The drug can cause an increase in blood pressure, a feeling of palpitations, cardiomyopathy.
- Nervous system. Almost all patients taking this drug complain of headache, fatigue. Sometimes its administration is accompanied by depression, cramps, muscle hypertonicity, emotional instability. The concentration of attention, taste sensations, and sleep stability may be impaired.
- Respiratory system. Bronchospasm and rapid breathing are rarely observed.
- Gastrointestinal system. Rarely, the drug is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Sometimes there is a violation of the stool (constipation or diarrhea) In some cases, exacerbation of pancreatitis was noted.
- Endocrine Disorders Using this substance may cause thyroid problems (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune thyroiditis).
- Liver and bile ducts. In the laboratory data, there is a temporary increase in the activity of liver enzymes, as well as an increase in the content of fatty acids in the blood. Rarely, taking the drug leads to liver failure.
- Urinary and reproductive system. Very rarely, a drug can lead to kidney failure. Frequent urination, prolonged menstrual bleeding in women, impotence in men can be observed.
- Musculoskeletal system. Muscle pain, joint pain, cramps in the lower extremities are rarely observed. The patient may be disturbed by pain in the back, neck, and bones.
- Organ of vision. Taking the drug can adversely affect the quality of vision, inflammatory eye diseases, intraocular bleeding may occur while taking the drug. When using the drug, serious cases of retinal detachment have been reported.
Allergic reactions in response to the use of the drug. The formation of antibodies to interferon
Allergic reactions (hypersensitivity) rarely develops to the drug. Local skin manifestations (urticaria, edema) are one of the varieties of allergies. Taking the drug in case of allergies should be stopped immediately. In the worst case, taking interferon threatens with such dangerous allergic manifestations as Quincke's edema, anaphylactic shock, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
The study showed that with prolonged use of the drug, antibodies to interferon were found in 1 - 5% of patients. This suggests that the drug in this case becomes less effective and the risk of developing allergic reactions potentially develops. The formation of antibodies to interferon is most often observed in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.
Flu-like syndrome. Fever after taking interferon
Taking this drug in almost all cases is characterized by the development of general reactions. They are combined under the name of the flu-like syndrome, as they have a similar manifestation with the infection caused by the influenza virus. This syndrome includes symptoms that are similar to the body's reaction to intoxication. The most common of these is an increase in temperature (about 38 degrees) The flu-like syndrome disappears on its own after several weeks of taking the drug. In the early days, when this syndrome is most acute, doctors recommend taking paracetamol (or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as a reliable means to eliminate it.
The flu-like syndrome from taking interferon includes the following symptoms:
- muscle aches and pains
- general malaise
- high fatigue
- chest pain and abdominal pain,
Local reactions in response to drug use
When using ointments and gels, local reactions can be noted. They are characterized by itching, redness of the skin, skin rashes. Such side effects are a form of allergic reaction and are transient. They disappear no later than 72 hours after stopping the use of the drug. Rarely, discoloration of the skin (pigmentation), hair loss (alopecia), as well as excessive sweating. If skin reactions occur, the drug should be stopped.
With the injection of the drug, a reaction at the injection site can be observed in about a third of patients. It is characterized most often by pain and redness of the skin. Very rarely, tissue compaction or necrosis at the injection site can occur. If the rules of aseptic and antiseptic are not followed, a post-injection abscess may develop at the injection site.
The effect of interferon on the thyroid gland. Autoimmune thyroiditis
Interferons are one of the types of cytokines that have anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating effects. Cytokines are proteins that regulate the interaction between cells of the immune system. Cytokines play a large role in the development of autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroiditis. Scientists can not yet explain why when using interferon from all autoimmune diseases, the risk of damage to the thyroid gland increases.
It is proved that prolonged use of the drug can lead to the destruction of glandular tissue due to the action of its own immune system. Thyroid disease is manifested by a decrease in the hormonal activity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and the detection in the blood of antibodies to hormones and thyroid cells. These symptoms disappear when you stop using the drug. Patients with a history of thyroid disease should be especially careful when choosing interferon as the main drug.
Prices for interferon in Russian cities
This drug has a fairly large number of dosage forms. We can not say that they are affordable, since the cost of drugs containing interferon exceeds the cost of similar drugs. This is due to the complexity of obtaining this substance. Drug prices vary over a very wide range. They depend on the manufacturer of the drug (domestic drugs are much cheaper than foreign), from the content of the active substance, from the region of the Russian Federation.
The cost of interferon preparations in pharmacies in Russian cities