Plegridy

Plegridy is a modified form of interferon used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. It is injected every 14 days.

Plegridy Overview

Reviewed: December 12, 2014
Updated: 

Plegridy is a prescription medication used to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

Plegridy is a modified form of a protein, interferon, which works as part of the immune system. The mechanism by which Plegridy exerts its effects in patients with multiple sclerosis is unknown.

This medication comes in injectable form and is injected directly under the skin every 14 days.

Common side effects of Plegridy include injection site pain and redness, flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and joint pain.

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Uses of Plegridy

Plegridy is a prescription medication used to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Side Effects of Plegridy

Serious side effects have been reported with Plegridy. See the “Plegridy” section.

Common side effects of Plegridy include the following:

  • injection site pain, itching, and redness
  • flu-like symptoms (common early in therapy)
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • joint pain

This is not a complete list of Plegridy side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Plegridy Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

No drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Plegridy Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Plegridy including the following:

  • Serious allergic reactions. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
    • itching
    • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • feeling faint
    • anxiousness
    • skin rash
    • hives
    • skin bumps
  • Injection site reactions. Plegridy may cause redness, pain, or swelling at the place where your injection was given. Call your healthcare provider right away if an injection site becomes swollen and painful or the area looks infected and it does not heal within a few days.
  • Heart problems, including congestive heart failure. While Plegridy is not known to have any direct effects on the heart, some people who did not have a history of heart problems developed heart muscle problems or congestive heart failure after taking interferon beta. If you already have heart failure, Plegridy may cause your heart failure to get worse. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have worsening symptoms of heart failure such as shortness of breath or swelling of your lower legs or feet. Also tell your healthcare provider right away if you have or develop some or all of the following symptoms of heart problems:
    • low blood pressure
    • fast or abnormal heart beat
    • chest pain
    • heart attack
    • heart muscle problem
  • Autoimmune diseases. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of an autoimmune disease:
    • easy bleeding or bruising
    • thyroid gland problems
    • autoimmune hepatitis
  • Blood problems and changes in your blood tests. Plegridy can decrease your white blood cells or platelets, which can cause an increased risk of infection, bleeding, or anemia and can cause changes in your liver function tests. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests while you use Plegridy to check for side effects.
  • Seizures. Some people have had seizures while taking Plegridy, including people who have never had seizures before.

​The most common side effects include: 

  • Flu-like symptoms. Many patients experience flu-like symptoms when they begin therapy with Plegridy. These symptoms are not really the flu. You cannot pass it on to anyone else. Symptoms may include: headache, muscle and joint aches, fever, chills, or tiredness. You may be able to manage these flu-like symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain and fever reducers and drinking plenty of water. For many people, these symptoms lessen or go away over time.

Do not take Plegridy if you:

  • are allergic to Plegridy or to any of its ingredients
  • are allergic to natural or recombinant interferon  beta-1a

Plegridy Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Plegridy, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Plegridy, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions.

Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Plegridy or to any of its ingredients
  • have or have had mental illness, including depression or suicidal behavior
  • have or have had liver problems
  • have or have had heart problems
  • have or have had thyroid problems
  • have or have had blood disorders, including low blood cell counts or bleeding problems
  • have or have had seizures
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Plegridy and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Plegridy falls into category C. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Plegridy should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

Plegridy and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Plegridy crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Plegridy.  

Plegridy Usage

Use Plegridy exactly as prescribed.

Plegridy comes in injectable form and is injected directly under the skin every 14 days.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Plegridy at the same time.

Plegridy Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated

The recommended dose/dose range of Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis is 125 micrograms every 14 days. The dose is increased slowly: the first dose of Plegridy is 63 micrograms on day 1, and the second dose is 94 micrograms on day 15; the full dose of 125 micrograms should be administered on day 29 and thereafter.

A healthcare professional will train you on the proper technique for administering subcutaneous injections with a prefilled pen or syringe. Plegridy should be injected under the skin of your abdomen, the back of your upper arm, or thigh. Rotate the injection site with each administration of Plegridy.

 

Plegridy Overdose

If you take too much Plegridy, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Plegridy is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store Plegridy in the refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Do not freeze. When you are ready to administer Plegridy, the pen or syringe should be allowed to warm at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.
  • If refrigeration is unavailable, Plegridy may be store between 2°C and 25°C (36°F and 77°F) for no more than 30 days, if it is protected from light. Plegridy may be taken from and returned to the refrigerator as necessary. The total combined time out of refrigeration may not exceed 30 days.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Dispose of used Plegridy pens and syringes in a hard plastic sharps container.