What Is The Drug Interferon Used For?

What does interferon mean?

Interferons (IFNs, /ˌɪntərˈfɪərɒn/) are a group of signaling proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of several viruses.

In a typical scenario, a virus-infected cell will release interferons causing nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses..

Does interferon suppress the immune system?

Interferons do not directly kill viral or cancerous cells; they boost the immune system response and reduce the growth of cancer cells by regulating the action of several genes that control the secretion of numerous cellular proteins that affect growth.

What does interferon do in the body?

Interferons are proteins that are part of your natural defenses. They tell your immune system that germs or cancer cells are in your body. And they trigger killer immune cells to fight those invaders. Interferons got their name because they “interfere” with viruses and keep them from multiplying.

Is interferon a chemotherapy drug?

Interferon-alfa2b is different than a chemotherapy drug; it is actually a natural part of your body’s immune system. It is known as a cytokine, which are chemicals normally secreted by cells called leukocytes in response to a virus, bacteria, or other foreign intruders.

How long does it take for interferon to work?

The time for interferon to have a noticeable effect on your blood results varies, however it usually takes two to four weeks.

Does interferon cause depression?

Therapeutic administration of IFN-α leads to depression in up to 50% of patients, and up to 30% of patients develop IFN-α-induced depression (a major depressive episode according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn diagnostic criteria) within the first 3 months.

Does interferon cause liver damage?

Interferon beta is a well known cause of mild hepatic injury that occasionally can lead to severe liver injury with jaundice.

How much is interferon treatment?

The high cost of interferon and ribavirin treatment—approximately $30,000 for 48 weeks—would need to be added to either treatment. (Ribavirin is a pill available under various brand names. Pegylated interferon is sold under several brand names and is injected, typically by the patient.)

Is interferon toxic?

Preliminary data show evidence for some growth retardation in patients receiving long-term interferon therapy. Laboratory evidence of toxicity in the form of decreased WBC, RBC, and platelet counts occurred in five patients, and increased liver enzymes occurred in 16 patients.

What stimulates interferon production?

Interferon is secreted by cells in response to stimulation by a virus or other foreign substance, but it does not directly inhibit the virus’s multiplication. Rather, it stimulates the infected cells and those nearby to produce proteins that prevent the virus from replicating within them.

Is interferon an antiviral?

The interferons (IFNs) are glycoproteins with strong antiviral activities that represent one of the first lines of host defense against invading pathogens. These proteins are classified into three groups, Type I, II and III IFNs, based on the structure of their receptors on the cell surface.

Is interferon still used?

Interferons are medications that used to be standard treatments for hepatitis C. However, newer treatments called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are now the standard of care for treating hepatitis C. This is largely because they’ve been shown to be more effective than interferons and to cause fewer side effects.