See more in these videos about chronic granulomatous disease (CGD)

Watch these videos for more information about living with CGD and see what goes into managing your—or your loved one's—condition.

CGD Overview

Read the Full Video Transcript

Dr. Hana Neibur: Chronic granulomatous disease is an immune deficiency, where white blood cells don’t quite work right. It’s just one group of white blood cells called the neutrophils.

Dr. Nicholas Hartog: And those neutrophils are going to be one of the first line of defenses against bacteria, fungus, and different invaders into your body.

Dr. Artemio Jongco: The most common form is X-linked CGD, which accounts for about two-thirds of all the cases. The autosomal forms of CGD are usually considered not to be as serious, but all forms of CGD can be potentially life threatening.

[Dr. Hana Neibur:] CGD is a genetic disease, which means it’s passed down from parents to children.

[Dr. Nicholas Hartog:] One of the most common forms of CGD is what we call X-linked. And in those forms, women are carriers of the disease, and there’s about a 50/50 chance any son that they have will have the disease.

Dr. Hana Neibur:] I think it’s normal to feel guilty about passing down genetic diseases. Genetic diseases happen. They’re nobody’s fault.

[Dr. Nicholas Hartog:] As far as environmental things that we need to do to prevent diseases, there’s avoiding playing in mulch, any wood chips we don’t play in, we don’t jump in leaves. Sources like that have been areas that have been identified to have sources of fungus that they can be infected with.

[Dr. Artemio Jongco:] But that doesn’t mean your child can’t go out and play with his or her friends.

[Dr. Nicholas Hartog:] It really is important to know that this is a chronic disease that will be lifelong and that we need to be treating it lifelong.

[Dr. Hana Neibur:] What helps decrease, particularly, the frequency of infections, are taking medications on a daily basis to prevent infections.

[Dr. Nicholas Neibur:] The first preventative therapy is what we call triple therapy, which ends up being a subcutaneous injection called interferon. Another oral antibiotic and an oral antifungal are really the core of treatment for patients with CGD.

[Dr. Artemio Jongco:] It’s no joke when you have to take medications regularly. It’s no fun, but we have to do it to improve your quality of life.

Dr. Hana Neibur:] Life with CGD is going to look different. There are certain things you have to do, like take your medicines.

[Dr. Artemio Jongco:] With appropriate precautions and appropriate planning, the patient with CGD can continue to live a happy and fulfilling life. There’s no doubt about that.

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Important Safety Information

What is ACTIMMUNE® (Interferon gamma-1b) used for?

ACTIMMUNE® is part of a drug regimen used to treat Chronic Granulomatous Disease, or CGD. CGD is a genetic disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, that affects some cells of the immune system and the body's ability to fight infections effectively. CGD is often treated (though not cured) with antibiotics, antifungals, and ACTIMMUNE.

ACTIMMUNE is also used to slow the worsening of severe, malignant osteopetrosis (SMO). SMO is a genetic disorder that affects normal bone formation and is usually diagnosed in the first few months after birth.

When should I not take ACTIMMUNE?

Don't use ACTIMMUNE if you are allergic to interferon-gamma, E coli-derived products, or any ingredients contained in the product.

What warnings should I know about ACTIMMUNE?

At high doses, ACTIMMUNE can cause (flu-like) symptoms, which may worsen some pre-existing heart conditions.

ACTIMMUNE may cause decreased mental status, walking disturbances, and dizziness, particularly at very high doses. These symptoms are usually reversible within a few days upon dose reduction or discontinuation of therapy.

Bone marrow function may be suppressed with ACTIMMUNE, and decreased production of cells important to the body may occur. This effect, which can be severe, is usually reversible when the drug is discontinued or the dose is reduced.

Taking ACTIMMUNE may cause reversible changes to your liver function, particularly in patients less than 1 year old. Your doctor should monitor your liver function every 3 months, and monthly in children under 1 year.

In rare cases, ACTIMMUNE can cause severe allergic reactions and/or rash. If you experience a serious reaction to ACTIMMUNE, discontinue it immediately and contact your doctor or seek medical help.

What should I tell my healthcare provider?

Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking.

Tell your doctor if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or plan to nurse
  • have a cardiac condition such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or decreased blood flow to your heart
  • have a history of seizures or other neurologic disorders
  • have, or have had, reduced bone marrow function. Your doctor will monitor these cells with blood tests at the beginning of therapy and at 3-month intervals on ACTIMMUNE therapy

What are the side effects of ACTIMMUNE?

The most common side effects with ACTIMMUNE are "flu-like" symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, muscle pain, or fatigue, which may decrease in severity as treatment continues. Bedtime administration of ACTIMMUNE may help reduce some of these symptoms. Acetaminophen may be helpful in preventing fever and headache.

What other medications might interact with ACTIMMUNE?

Some drugs may interact with ACTIMMUNE to potentially increase the risk of damage to your heart or nervous system, such as certain chemotherapy drugs. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking.

Avoid taking ACTIMMUNE at the same time as a vaccination.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

The risk information provided here is not comprehensive. To learn more, talk about ACTIMMUNE with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. The FDA-approved product labeling can be found at http://www.ACTIMMUNE.com or 1-866-479-6742.