A 42-year-old member asked:
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what are important but rare interferon side effects when used for melanoma?

2 doctor answers
Dr. William A Biermann
45 years experience Medical Oncology
A few: Interferon used in high dose for adjuvant treatment does have multiple side effects. The uncommon but severe ones include; suicide due to depression, liver damage, severe blood problems. It can be managed by a physician who has experience. Currently a trial compares it to yervoy which takes the breaks off the immune system. It too has side effects, but more promise.
Answered on Jul 31, 2012
Dr. Eric Whitman
35 years experience Surgical Oncology
Depression: Number one rare but possible side effect of alfa-interferons for melanoma is severe depression, designated by the fda as a "blackbox warning". Other more rare side effects are worsening or "flares" of pre-existing auto-immune diseases.
Answered on Aug 11, 2012

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A 37-year-old male asked:
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Further evaluation: Depression is a common side effect of Pegasus. Consider short term anti-depressant

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