Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Avonex, Avonex Prefilled Syringe, Rebif
Generic Name: interferon beta-1a (Pronunciation: in ter FEAR on BAY ta)
What is interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Avonex Prefilled Syringe, Rebif)?
Interferon beta-1a is made from human proteins. Interferons help the body fight viral infections.
Interferon beta-1a is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). This medication will not cure MS, it will only decrease the frequency of relapse symptoms.
Interferon beta-1a may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Avonex Prefilled Syringe, Rebif)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Avonex Prefilled Syringe, Rebif)?
This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, or may cause a miscarriage. Do not use interferon beta-1a if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Before using interferon beta-1a, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease, a thyroid disorder, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, heart disease, chest pain (angina), congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, or a history of depression or suicidal behavior.
Some patients using interferon medications have become very depressed or had thoughts of suicide. Stop using interferon beta-1a if you have symptoms of depression (sadness, crying, loss of interest in things you once liked) or if you have any thoughts of hurting yourself.
Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver or thyroid function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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