|Generic name||Interferon alfa-2a|
|Brand name(s), other common name(s)||Roferon®-A|
|How the drug is given||Intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SC) injection|
Interferons are substances naturally produced by cells in the body to help fight infections and tumors. They may also be synthetic versions of these substances. Interferon alfa-2a is FDA approved to treat people who have hairy cell leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia who are minimally pretreated (within 1 year of diagnosis). It may cause a temporary loss of hair. After treatment has ended, normal hair growth should return.
Side effects needing medical attention:Depression, anxiety or other mental changes; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; chest pain; numbness or tingling in fingers, toes or face; rapid heartbeat with or without fever; rash; dizziness; flulike symptoms (such as fever, fatigue, muscle, joint or bone pain, headache, chills); sweating; cough; sore throat; swelling of feet or ankles; difficulty walking; unusual tiredness or fatigue; loss of appetite; changes in taste; nausea and vomiting; weight loss; diarrhea or stomach pain.