Download helpful Information for Patients and Caregivers
How to measure the dose of ACTIMMUNE®1,2
Follow these steps to properly measure the dose of ACTIMMUNE®:
- Remove ACTIMMUNE® vial from refrigerator.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap to make sure you don’t contaminate the vial or syringe.
- Check the date on the ACTIMMUNE® vial. If the date has expired, do not use and call your doctor immediately.
- Make sure the medicine is clear, not cloudy. If the medicine is cloudy, do not use and call your doctor immediately. Do not shake the vial.
- Remove the protective plastic cap on the vial.
- Clean the rubber stopper located on top of the vial with an alcohol swab or alcohol-saturated cotton ball.
- Take the syringe out of its package. Before removing the needle guard, draw air into the syringe by pulling back on the plunger. The amount of air should be equal to the ACTIMMUNE® dose.
- Remove and save the needle guard and insert the needle into the upright vial. Gently push the plunger to discharge the air into the vial.
- Turn the vial upside down with the syringe and needle still in the vial, and hold it in one hand. Be sure the tip of the needle is in the solution.
- Using the other hand, slowly pull back on the plunger to draw the correct amount of ACTIMMUNE® into the syringe.
- Once the syringe is filled with the proper amount of ACTIMMUNE®, tap it to make sure it is free of air bubbles before removing it from the vial.
- Take the needle out of the ACTIMMUNE® vial and replace the needle guard until time of administration or injection. Do not let the needle touch your hand or any surface to avoid contamination.
- Inject the medication as soon as possible after the syringe is filled.
- Do not store ACTIMMUNE® in the syringe.
If you miss an injection, do not try to make up for it by increasing the dose of the next injection or by doubling up on injections. Stay with the prescribed injection schedule. If you have questions, call your doctor.
Go to the next section for information on how to choose an injection site.
How to choose the injection site1,2
IMPORTANT: Do not administer ACTIMMUNE® until a healthcare provider has shown you how. He or she will give you detailed instructions on how to2:
- Measure the dose
- Select the injection site
- Administer the injection
- Store ACTIMMUNE®
- Properly dispose of the unused portion of each vial
- Properly dispose of the used syringe and needle after each injection as instructed by your healthcare provider
A sharps container can be provided to you for easy disposal of your used syringes at no cost when you enroll in COMPASSSM (Comprehensive Personalized Patient Prescription Advocacy and Support Services). Learn more about COMPASSSM.
The diagram below shows recommended injection sites. The sites are numbered to help you identify their locations when recording them on the calendar.
Use a different injection site each time you administer ACTIMMUNE®. Rotating the injection site helps each area recover fully before the same site is used again and helps minimize localized side effects.
Using the Injection Site Rotation Calendar1,2
ACTIMMUNE® injections should be administered 3 times weekly (eg, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). To help you keep track of when and where you have administered ACTIMMUNE®, we can provide you with a laminated Injection Site Rotation Calendar. Use a dry-erase marker so you can erase marks and reuse the calendar.
If you would like to download a copy of the calendar, click the download button below, or sign up to receive a free, laminated version.
After each injection, write on the calendar the site number and side where you injected ACTIMMUNE®.
It is important to select the correct place on the body to inject ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma-1b). We understand that an injection can be uncomfortable, so make sure you inject ACTIMMUNE® into an area of the body that is fatty. Fatty areas have the fewest nerve endings; using them as injection sites will minimize any discomfort.
Tips for adherence
- Do contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about the instructions for use
- Do administer ACTIMMUNE® on the same days of the week and at the same time of day
- — For example, if you choose Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 PM as your injection days and time, make sure this schedule remains the same for the upcoming months. Consistent timing helps make injections a regular part of your routine
- Do consider taking ACTIMMUNE® just before going to bed to minimize some of the flu-like side effects
- Do rotate the injection site consistently and use a different area on the body for each injection. Rotating injection sites helps each area fully recover before the same site is used again and keeps local side effects to a minimum
- Do properly dispose of the unused portion of the ACTIMMUNE® vial after each injection as instructed by your healthcare provider. Each vial can be safely used for one injection only
- Do properly dispose of the used syringe and needle after each injection as instructed by your healthcare provider. Registering for the COMPASSSM program may provide patients with a sharps container and return shipping materials for easy disposal of used syringes at no cost to the patient
- Do not stop using any of the prescribed medicines without consulting your doctor
Occasionally, a problem may develop at the injection site. Inform your doctor immediately if you see:
- A lump or swelling that does not go away
- Bruising that does not go away
- Any signs of infection or inflammation (pus, persistent redness, surrounding skin that’s hot to the touch, or persistent pain after the injection)
- ACTIMMUNE® must be refrigerated immediately upon receipt of the vials
- Unused ACTIMMUNE® vials should not be left at room temperature for more than 12 hours
- Refrigerate at typical refrigerator temperatures: 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C)
- Do not freeze ACTIMMUNE® vials
- Do not shake ACTIMMUNE® vials
- Do not store ACTIMMUNE® in the syringe
ACTIMMUNE® is supplied in single-use vials. The unused portion of each vial should be disposed of as instructed by your healthcare provider. If you have any questions, contact your doctor.
References: 1. ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma-1b) Full Prescribing Information. Roswell, GA: Horizon Pharma, Inc; 2015. 2. ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma-1b) Information for the Patient/Caregiver. Roswell, GA: Horizon Pharma, Inc; 2015.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION AND INDICATIONS
Important Information About ACTIMMUNE
What is ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma 1-b) used for?
ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma 1-b) is part of a drug regimen used to treat Chronic Granulomatous Disease, or CGD. CGD is a genetic disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, that affects some cells of the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infections effectively. CGD is often treated (though not cured) with antibiotics, antifungals, and ACTIMMUNE.
ACTIMMUNE is also used to slow the worsening of severe, malignant osteopetrosis (SMO). SMO is a genetic disorder that affects normal bone formation and is usually diagnosed in the first few months after birth.
When should I not take ACTIMMUNE?
Don’t use ACTIMMUNE if you are allergic to interferon-gamma, E coli-derived products, or any ingredients contained in the product.
What warnings should I know about ACTIMMUNE?
At high doses, ACTIMMUNE can cause (flu-like) symptoms, which may worsen some pre-existing heart conditions.
ACTIMMUNE may cause decreased mental status, walking disturbances, and dizziness, particularly at very high doses. These symptoms are usually reversible within a few days upon dose reduction or discontinuation of therapy.
Bone marrow function may be suppressed with ACTIMMUNE, and decreased production of cells important to the body may occur. This effect, which can be severe, is usually reversible when the drug is discontinued or the dose is reduced.
Taking ACTIMMUNE may cause reversible changes to your liver function, particularly in patients less than 1 year old. Your doctor should monitor your liver function every 3 months, and monthly in children under 1 year.
In rare cases, ACTIMMUNE can cause severe allergic reactions and/or rash. If you experience a serious reaction to ACTIMMUNE, discontinue it immediately and contact your doctor or seek medical help.
What should I tell my healthcare provider?
Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking.
Tell your doctor if you:
What are the side effects of ACTIMMUNE?
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or plan to nurse
- have a cardiac condition such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or decreased blood flow to your heart
- have a history of seizures or other neurologic disorders
- have, or have had, reduced bone marrow function. Your doctor will monitor these cells with blood tests at the beginning of therapy and at 3-month intervals on ACTIMMUNE therapy
The most common side effects with ACTIMMUNE are flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, muscle pain, or fatigue, which may decrease in severity as treatment continues. Bedtime administration of ACTIMMUNE may help reduce some of these symptoms. Acetaminophen may be helpful in preventing fever and headache.
What other medications might interact with ACTIMMUNE?
Some drugs may interact with ACTIMMUNE to potentially increase the risk of damage to your heart or nervous system, such as certain chemotherapy drugs. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking.
Avoid taking ACTIMMUNE at the same time as a vaccination.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also contact the Horizon Pharma Medical Information Department toll-free at 1-866-479-6742 or medicalinformation
The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk about ACTIMMUNE with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. The FDA-approved product labeling can be found at http://www.ACTIMMUNE.com or 1-866-479-6742.