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Interferon Beta-1a
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Interferon Beta-1a Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(in ter FEER on BAY ta won aye)

U.S. Brand Names

Avonex®; Rebif®

Canadian Brand Names

Avonex®; Rebif®

Mexican Brand Names


Pharmacologic Category


What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• Please read the medication guide.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to interferon beta-1a or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you have a latex allergy, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Interferon beta-1a helps the body's immune system fight multiple sclerosis.

• It may decrease the number of attacks and the disabilities.

How is it best taken?

• This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle once a week.

• Take this medicine at bedtime to help with flu-like symptoms.

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Follow instructions closely if you or a family member are giving the shot at home.

• Throw away needles in needle/sharp disposal box and return box to healthcare provider when full.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Take a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

• Do not change dose, brand, or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• 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 unused portion of opened vial after use.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2005-04-07 16:50:37.0

Modified: 2010-03-09 08:28:53.0

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