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Interferon Beta-1b (E. coli) Solution for injection

This medicine does not cure multiple sclerosis

Generic Name: interferon beta-1b

Brand Names: Betaseron, Extavia

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

REMS:

FDA approved a REMS for interferon beta to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. However, FDA later rescinded REMS requirements. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

INTERFERON BETA-1b (in ter FEER on BAY ta 1b) helps to decrease the number of multiple sclerosis attacks in people with relapsing forms of the disease. This medicine does not cure multiple sclerosis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • depression
  • heart disease or irregular heart beats/rhythm
  • immune system problems
  • liver disease
  • low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to interferon, albumin, or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

The medicine is for injection under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Each dose should be separated by about 48 hours. If you accidentally take a dose on 2 consecutive days, call your doctor or health care professional.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • zidovudine, AZT

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need frequent blood checks.

Females of child-bearing age should use a reliable method of birth control. If you do get pregnant, immediately stop using the medicine, and contact your doctor or health care professional.

Flu-like symptoms are common with the medicine. Using this medicine at night may help. Ask your doctor or health care professional about taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen before your dose and for 24 hours after you receive your injection.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • a skin sore with a black-blue color, swelling, or drainage
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • depression or nervousness
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever, chills, or any other sign of infection
  • rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • severe stomach pain
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • menstrual changes
  • muscle aches
  • pain, redness, and irritation at the injection site


Last Updated: August 21, 2009
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