Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does infergen or peg make nails grow faster?"
This is just a minor question, but ever since I've been on Infergen for hepatitis C (about 6 months) it seems like my nails and hair are growing faster than they ever used to. I can't find anything in the product packaging about this. Is it a real side effect? What other effects should I expect as I'm on this for the long haul?
Congratulations for successfully pursuing therapy for your hepatitis C. The cornerstone of hepatitis C medical therapy does involve taking interferon (Infergen). Although this medication is often well tolerated, there are several well known side effects that have to be watched out for. Interestingly, Infergen most typically causes thinning of the hair. Therefore, it is very unlikely that the growth of your hair and nails and an increased rate is related to taking the Infergen. It might be, however, that your overall health is simply improving and that might explain the increased rate of growth of your hair and nails. Other major side effects to watch out for are flu like symptoms such as fatigue, muscles aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and the like. These side effects occur in almost everyone taking Infergen and are the main reason that completing the treatment can be hard to tolerate. Also, Infergen can seriously interfere with mood, causing symptoms of depression. For this reason, the medicine has to be used very carefully in people who have a history of depression or another psychiatric disorder. Make sure you communicate regularly with the liver doctor who is managing your treatment, so that any major concerns or symptoms that you have can be promptly evaluated and dealt with.
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