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Interferon Beta-1a

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Avonex®;Rebif®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Avonex®;Rebif®
    • Mexican Brand Names: Rebif
    • Pharmacologic Category: Interferon

    Uses
    • It is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis).
    • Interferon beta-1a helps fight MS (multiple sclerosis).
    • It may lower the number of attacks and the disabilities.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • It is given as a shot into a muscle once a week.
    • Take at bedtime to help with flu-like signs.
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.
    • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box and take the box back to your doctor when it is full.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose, brand, or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store unopened vials in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
    • You may store unopened Avonex® vials at room temperature. Throw away after 1 month.
    • Protect from heat.
    • Protect Rebif® from light.
    • Throw away any part of opened vial not used after use.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Please read the medication guide.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to interferon beta-1a or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you have bleeding problems, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have heart disease, talk with your doctor. The flu-like side effects of interferon may be stressful to heart patients.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have seizures, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have thyroid disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

    Side Effects

    • Chance of getting an infection. Avoid people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Belly pain.
    • Change in eyesight.
    • Low white blood cell count.
    • Irritation where the shot is given.
    • Harm to the liver may rarely happen.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Seizures.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Very bad swelling.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • For women, if you get pregnant while taking this drug.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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