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Interferon treatment

Related Terms

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Brand Names

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Background

  • Interferon medication is a man-made version of a protein that is involved in the immune system. The body produces interferons to help fight against disease and infection. These proteins stimulate immune cells to destroy body cells that have become infected with viruses or cancer.
  • There are three main types of interferons: alpha, beta, and gamma. These groups of interferons work together to fight against bacteria, viruses, fungi, tumors, and other foreign substances that may enter the body.
  • Patients receive interferon treatment to help the immune system fight against disease or to help slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. Interferon is commonly used to treat various cancers, such as skin cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, and hairy cell leukemia. It is also used to treat viral infections, such as hepatitis (liver infection) and genital warts, caused by the human papilomavirus virus (HPV).
  • These medications are injected into the patient, and they are only available by prescription. The recommended dosage is based on the patient's disease, age, and overall health, as well as the type of medication. The duration of treatment also varies and medication may be given daily, weekly, or three times a week.

Uses

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Side Effects

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Precautions

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Integrative Therapies

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.