Archives of General Internal Medicine

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Rapid Communication - Archives of General Internal Medicine (2023) Volume 7, Issue 6

Adverse neurological and endocrine effects of therapeutic interferons.

Jacques Vial *

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, University of Virginia Polytechnic, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Jacques Vial
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, University of Virginia Polytechnic, USA

Received: 29-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. AAAGIM-23-122738; Editor assigned: 04-Dec-2023, PreQC No. AAAGIM-23-122738(PQ); Reviewed: 19-Dec-2023, QC No. AAAGIM-23-122738; Revised: 22-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. AAAGIM-23-122738 (R); Published: 29-Dec-2023, DOI:10.35841/aaagim-7.6.205

Citation: : Vial J. Adverse neurological and endocrine effects of therapeutic interferons. Arch Gen Intern Med. 2023;7(6):205

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The endocrine system is a complicated network of glands and organs that produces and secretes hormones. Endocrine disorders are medical illnesses that entail abnormalities in this system. Hormones are chemical messengers that control growth and development, immunity, metabolism, mood, and reproduction, among other physiological processes. Numerous endocrine problems can result from an imbalance in the production, release, or reaction of hormones. These are a few prevalent endocrine conditions.Therapeutic interferons have long been a mainstay in the management of a wide range of illnesses, most notably long-term viral infections and several types of cancer. The immune system's production of proteins called interferons is essential for controlling immunological responses. Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to using therapeutic interferons; they include negative effects on the neurological and endocrine systems, among other systems [1, 2].

Interferons are signaling proteins that modulate the immune response to combat viral infections, suppress tumor growth, and regulate various cellular functions. Therapeutic interferons, including Interferon-Alpha (IFN-α), Interferon-Beta (IFN-β), and Interferon-Gamma (IFN-γ), have been employed to treat conditions such as chronic hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and certain cancers. Interferon therapy has been linked to neuropsychiatric symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and irritability. These effects are often dose-dependent and may lead to treatment discontinuation in some cases [3, 4].

Cognitive dysfunction, such as difficulties with concentration and memory, has been reported in individuals undergoing interferon treatment. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood but may involve the impact of interferons on neurotransmitter systems. Interferon-induced fatigue is a common complaint among patients. The exact cause is multifactorial, involving both direct effects on the central nervous system and secondary factors such as anemia and sleep disturbances [5, 6].

Some studies have suggested a correlation between interferon therapy and the development or exacerbation of movement disorders, including Parkinsonism. The precise mechanisms are still under investigation. Therapeutic interferons have been associated with the development of autoimmune neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and multiple sclerosis exacerbations, emphasizing the delicate balance between immune modulation and unintended autoimmunity [7, 8].

Interferons may induce insulin resistance and affect glucose metabolism, potentially contributing to the development of diabetes or exacerbating existing metabolic conditions. Tailoring interferon therapy to the individual's medical history, pre-existing conditions, and risk factors can help minimize adverse effects. Close monitoring of patients undergoing interferon therapy is crucial. Regular assessments of neuropsychiatric symptoms, thyroid function, adrenal function, and reproductive health can aid in early detection and management. Supportive therapies, including antidepressants for mood disorders, hormonal replacement for endocrine disturbances, and lifestyle modifications, can complement interferon-based treatments. Providing comprehensive education to patients about potential side effects and the importance of adherence to monitoring protocols can empower individuals to actively participate in their healthcare [9, 10].


While therapeutic interferons have proven efficacy in managing certain medical conditions, their use is associated with a spectrum of adverse effects on the neurological and endocrine systems. A nuanced understanding of these effects, coupled with vigilant monitoring and proactive management, is essential for optimizing patient outcomes. The ongoing exploration of alternative treatments and the development of targeted therapies aim to mitigate these adverse effects while preserving the therapeutic benefits of interferons in modern medicine.


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