Interferons & Interleukins (Immunostimulant)


They are cytokines secreted by lymphocytes and macrophages that have been infected with a virus or bacteria. After secretion, interferons attach to uninfected cells and signal them to secrete antiviral proteins. Interferons slow the spread of viral infection and enhance the activity of existing leukocytes.


  • IFN alfa-2b
  • IFN alfa-n3
  • IFN alfacon-1
  • IFN beta-1a
  • IFN beta-1b
  • PegIFN alfa 2b
  • PegIFN alfa 2b

Therapeutic uses:

  • They have abilities to boost the immune system, so they are used as

Anti-viral, anti- cancer, anti-inflammatory

  • Alfa interferon are used for the following diseases
    • Hairy cell leukemia
    • AIDS-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Chronic hepatitis virus B or C infection
  • Beta interferon are mainly used for the
    • Severe multiple sclerosis

Side effects

  • Myelosuppression
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Suicide ideation
  • Seizures
  • MI
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hepatotoxicity


Interleukin are another class of cytokines, synthesized primarily by lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophages that enhances the capabilities of immune system. They have wide spread of effects on immune system including stimulation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes activity against tumor cells, increased B-cells and plasma cell production, and promotion of the inflammation.

  • Aldesleukin (Interlukin-2)
  • Bacillus Calmette-Guerin

Therapeutic use

  • Metastatic renal carcinoma

Side effects

  • Hypotension
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Tachycardia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Oliguria
  • Anuria
  • Pulmonary edema

Reference: I have taken some information from the Web, Pub, pathopharmacology book and