Interferon Alpha-2a

Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Unlabeled Use
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Implications
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Toxicological Effects
  • Caution and personalized dose adjustment in patients with the following genotypes
  • Other genes that may be involved
  • Inhibits
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Roferon-A; Belgium: Roferon A; Bulgaria: Roferon A; Cyprus: Roferon-A; Czech Republic: Roferon-A; Estonia: Roferon-A; Finland: Roferon-A; France: Roferon-A; Germany: Roferon-A; Greece: Mideferon, Roferon-A; Hungary: Roferon-A; Ireland: Roferon A; Italy: Roferon-A; Latvia: Roferon-A; Lithuania: Roferon-A; Luxembourg: Roferon-A; Netherlands: Roferon-A; Poland: Roferon A; Portugal: Roferon-A; Romania: Roferon A; Slovakia: Roferon-A; Slovenia: Roferon-A; Spain: Roferon-A; Sweden: Roferon-A; UK: Roferon-A.

North America

USA: Roferon-A.

Latin America

Argentina: Avirostat, Infostat; Brazil: Alfainterferona 2A, Beferon Alfa 2A, Kinnoferon 2A, Roferon-A; Mexico: Alferon, Nisoftat, Roferon-A.

Drug combinations


Interferon Alpha-2a: C~860~H~1353~N~227~O~255~S~9~. Mw: 19240.92. Interferon αA (human leukocyte protein moiety reduced). CAS-76543-88-9 (1987).

Pharmacologic Category

Antineoplastic Agents; Immunostimulants. Biologic Response Modifiers. Antivirals; Interferons. (ATC-Code: L03AB04)

Mechanism of action

Inhibits cellular growth, alters state of cellular differentiation, interferes with oncogene expression, alters cell surface antigen expression, increases phagocytic activity of macrophages, and augments cytotoxicity of lymphocytes for target cells.

Therapeutic use

Treatment of hairy cell leukemia, chronic hepatitis C in patients over 18 years of age. Treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myelogenous leukemia in chronic phase, within 1 year of diagnosis in children and adults.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Animal studies demonstrated abortifacient effects in large doses, as well as disruption of normal menstrual cycle. Interferon alpha-2a should only be used in pregnancy when potential benefit to mother justifies possible risk to fetus. Interferon alpha usually compatible with breast-feeding.

Unlabeled use

Adjuvant therapy for malignant melanoma. Treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, carcinoid tumors. Bladder, cervical, and ovarian cancers. Hemangioma. Chronic hepatitis D. Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Multiple myeloma. Renal cell carcinoma. Basal and squamous cell skin cancer. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.


Hypersensitivity to interferon alpha or any component of the formulation. Autoimmune hepatitis. Hepatic decompensation.

Warnings and precautions

Hazardous agent. Causes bone marrow suppression, including potentially severe cytopenias, and very rarely, aplastic anemia. Flu-like symptoms, including fever, are common. Gastrointestinal effects, such as hemorrhage, ulcerative and hemorrhagic/ischemic colitis observed. Transient liver abnormalities might occur when treating chronic hepatitis C. Acute hypersensitivity reactions reported (rarely) with alpha interferons. Hypertriglyceridemia, serious and severe infections (bacterial, viral and fungal), nephrotoxicity reported. Might cause severe psychiatric adverse events (e.g. depression, psychosis, mania, suicidal behavior/ideation) in patients with and without previous psychiatric symptoms (use with caution in seizure disorders, brain metastases, or compromised CNS function). Higher doses in the elderly or in malignancies other than hairy cell leukemia may result in severe obtundation. Ocular effects might occur (use caution in pre-existing ophthalmic disorders). Pancreatitis observed (occasionally fatal). Pulmonary effects might occur (use caution in history of pulmonary disease). Avoid use in history of autoimmune disorders. Use with caution in history of cardiovascular disease, or in diabetes mellitus (hyperglycemia reported). May cause or aggravate fatal or life-threatening infectious disorders. May cause or aggravate fatal or life-threatening ischemic disorders. Use with caution in renal impairment (CrCl <50 mL/minute). Thyroid disorders (hyper-/hypothyroidism) reported (use with caution in pre-existing thyroid disease). Injection solution contains benzyl alcohol, associated with «gasping syndrome» in neonates.



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