(Intron® and Roferon-A® are other names for this medication.)
Use: Interferon is used to treat certain cancers and viral diseases in dogs and cats. It has been used to control the signs and symptoms of herpes virus and feline leukemia in cats. Interferon has also been used to alleviate the symptoms of West Nile Virus infection in horses.
Side Effects: When given orally, adverse effects to interferon are uncommon. Some adverse effects that have been reported in cats are loss of appetite, anemias, fever, allergic reactions, bone marrow suppression and muscle pain.
Precautions: You should always keep interferon in the refrigerator and not shake it as this will destroy this very fragile drug.
Directions: Dogs usually receive this drug by injection 2-3 times weekly for cancer. Cats usually receive this drug orally or in the eye daily for alternating weeks of therapy followed by a drug “vacation” when treating feline leukemia or feline herpes.
Remember: Interferon should be stored in the refrigerator in a tight, light resistant, childproof container away from all children and other household pets. It should never be shaken or exposed to freezing or high temperatures.
If you miss a dose of this medication you should give it as soon as you remember it, but if it is within a few hours of the regularly scheduled dose, wait and give it at the regular time. Do not double a dose as this can be toxic to your pet.