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Interferon gamma-1b parenteral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Interferon gamma


Injections of interferon gamma-1b

These products have been produced by recombinant technology using E.coli.

Drugs List

  • IMMUKIN 100microgram/0.5ml solution for injection vial
  • interferon gamma-1b 100microgram/0.5ml solution for injection vial
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Infection prophylaxis in chronic granulomatous disease
    Reduction of infection frequency in malignant osteopetrosis

    Indicated as adjunctive therapy (with antibacterials) to reduce the frequency of serious infections in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD).

    Indicated for the reduction in frequency of serious infections in patients with severe, malignant osteopetrosis.


    Whilst the doses stated below are those recommended by the manufacturer, local network protocols for the relevant indication should be consulted.


    Body surface area greater than 0.5 square metres:
    50 micrograms/square metre of body surface area, three times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) preferably in the evening.

    Body surface area equal to or less than 0.5 square metres:
    1.5 micrograms/kg, three times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) preferably in the evening.


    (See Dosage; Adult)


    Body surface area greater than 0.5 square metres :
    50 micrograms/square metre of body surface area, three times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

    Body surface area equal to or less than 0.5 square metres :
    1.5 micrograms/kg, three times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

    Children under 6 months of age:
    Contraindicated in this age group when treating chronic granulomatous disease.

    Additional Dosage Information

    In the event of a severe adverse reaction reduce dose by 50% or discontinue therapy until the adverse effects resolve.


    For subcutaneous injection. Optimum sites of injection are the right and left deltoid and anterior thigh.

    Interferon gamma-1b may be administered by patient or family member once trained in the administration of subcutaneous injection.


    Children under 6 months - if treating chronic granulomatous disease

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 18 years
    Cardiac arrhythmias
    Cardiac disorder
    Compromised central nervous system function
    History of congestive cardiac failure
    Ischaemic heart disease
    Severe hepatic impairment
    Severe renal impairment

    Administration of live vaccines is not recommended
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Monitor cardiac function before and regularly during treatment
    Monitor haematological parameters before and during treatment
    Monitor hepatic function before treatment and regularly during treatment
    Monitor renal function before treatment and regularly during treatment
    Perform regular urinalysis
    Antibodies to ingredient may develop
    May affect immune response to live vaccines
    May cause impaired fertility
    Male & female: Ensure adequate contraception during treatment

    The use of interferon gamma-1b does not exclude the need for additional antimicrobial coverage that might be required for the management of CGD.

    Patients with pre-existing cardiac disease may experience an acute self-limiting exacerbation of their cardiac condition at doses above 250 micrograms/ square metre BSA/ day.

    Concurrent use of interferon gamma-1b and other serum protein preparations or immunologic preparations (e.g. vaccines) increases the risk of an amplified immune response.

    As an exogenous protein, interferon gamma-1b may induce the formation of antibodies during treatment. However, to date there have been no reports of significant induction or neutralising antibodies at the recommended dose.

    Elevations of AST and/or ALT have been observed in patients receiving interferon gamma-1b, the incidence appeared to be higher in children under 1 years of age.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Interferon gamma-1b is contraindicated in pregnancy.

    At the time of writing there is insufficient information on the use of interferon gamma-1b in human pregnancy. The manufacturer recommends use only if vitally indicated.

    In animal studies, high doses of interferon gamma-1b have been associated with higher rates of abortion, foetal haematological toxicity, decreased foetal weight, inhibition or retardation of eye formation and foetal haematomas.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Interferon gamma 1b is contraindicated in breastfeeding.

    At the time it is unknown whether interferon gamma-1b is excreted in human breast milk, a risk to neonates cannot be excluded.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Abdominal pain
    Acute renal failure (reversible)
    Antibody formation
    Atrioventricular block
    Back pain
    Cardiac failure
    Chest discomfort
    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    Erythema at injection site
    Gait abnormality
    Gastro-intestinal haemorrhage
    Hepatic failure
    Increase in serum ALT/AST
    Influenza-like symptoms
    Interstitial lung disease
    Local pain (injection site)
    Maculopapular rash
    Myocardial infarction
    Pulmonary embolism
    Pustular rash
    Swelling (injection site)
    Systemic lupus erythematosus
    Transient ischaemic attack


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: September 2015

    Reference Sources

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia

    Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary(online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. Accessed on 26 May 2015.

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference (online) London: Brayfield A (ed). Pharmaceutical Press. Accessed on 26 May 2015.

    Paediatric Formulary Committee. BNF for Children (online) London: BMJ Group, Pharmaceutical Press, and RCPCH Publications. Accessed on 26 May 2015.

    Summary of Product Characteristic: Immukin. Boehringer Ingelheim Limited. Revised November 2013.

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