-- You have unstable or severe liver disease before or during treatment
-- You are allergic to alpha interferons or any of the ingredients in PEGASYS and COPEGUS
-- You have abnormal red blood cells (caused by conditions like sickle-cell anemia or thalassemia major)
What if I am pregnant or thinking about having a baby?
If you are a woman who could get pregnant, you must take pregnancy tests before, during and for 6 months after treatment ends to make sure you are not pregnant.
During treatment and for 6 months after treatment, female and male patients must:
-- Use two forms of birth control (one being a condom with spermicide)
-- Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. You or your doctor should also call the Ribavirin Pregnancy Registry at 1-800-593-2214
What medication should I avoid when I am taking PEGASYS and COPEGUS?
You should not take didanosine with COPEGUS. Talk to your doctor about all medications that you are taking.
What are the possible side effects?
The most common side effects of PEGASYS and COPEGUS are:
-- Flu-like symptoms (including fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, headaches)
-- Upset stomach (like nausea, taste changes, diarrhea)
-- Blood sugar problems (may lead to diabetes)
-- Skin problems (like rash, dry or itchy skin, redness and swelling at injection site)
-- Hair loss (temporary)
-- Trouble sleeping
The most serious side effects of PEGASYS and COPEGUS are:
-- Risks to pregnancies
-- Mental health problems (such as irritability, depression, anxiety, aggressiveness, trouble with drug addiction or overdose, thoughts about suicide, suicide attempts, suicide and thoughts about homicide)
-- Blood problems (like a drop in blood cells leading to increased risk for infections, bleeding and/or heart or circulatory problems)