Research Article

Toxicity of interferon.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 25 April 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1345
  1. G M Scott,
  2. D S Secher,
  3. D Flowers,
  4. J Bate,
  5. K Cantell,
  6. D A Tyrrell


    The effects of partially purified human leucocyte interferon (PIF) and of a preparation purified by passage twice through a monoclonal antibody affinity chromatography column (NK21F) were compared with those of a control solution in healhty volunteers. After intramuscular injections both interferon preparations caused rises in pulse rate and body temperature, changes in circulating white cell counts, and various unpleasant symptoms, the most common of which were headache, malaise, and fever. Slightly lower doses of NK21F were given, and this was reflected in lower peak serum concentrations. Mean symptom scores, however, were not lower after NK21F than after PIF. Local inflammatory reactions eight hours after intradermal inoculations of these interferons were similar. Purification of interferon using a monoclonal antibody does not reduce the facets of its activity considered in this study. They are therefore inherent in the leucocyte interferon type selected by the antibody.