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Safety profile of interferon-alpha therapy

  [ 33 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Weiss K • www.ProHealth.com • February 15, 1998


Two forms of recombinant interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha2a and
IFN-alpha2b) have been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration for a variety of clinical indications,
including hairy cell leukemia, hepatitis, acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome-related Kaposi's sarcoma, chronic
myelogenous leukemia (IFN-alpha2a only), and adjuvant therapy
for melanoma (IFN-alpha2b only), based on their proven
clinical efficacy and acceptable safety profiles. The
continued postmarketing monitoring of adverse reactions
associated with IFN-alpha therapy has revealed some new
toxicities. The most common adverse events associated with
IFN- alpha therapy are flu-like symptoms, fatigue, anorexia,
and central nervous system and psychiatric reactions. In
particular, the incidence of depression has only recently been
fully appreciated. Some of these side effects, particularly
chronic fatigue, anorexia, and neuropsychiatric reactions, may
become dose limiting. New approaches to minimize and manage
the side effects of IFN-alpha therapy are needed.




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