What is interferon beta-1b?

Interferon beta-1b is made from human proteins. Interferons help the body fight viral infections.

Interferon beta-1b 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-1b may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to interferons or human albumin.

Some patients using interferon medications have become very depressed or had thoughts of suicide. Stop using interferon beta-1b 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.

Before using interferon beta-1b, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
  • anemia (lack of red blood cells); or
  • a history of depression or suicidal behavior.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use interferon beta-1b.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, or may cause a miscarriage. Do not use interferon beta-1b if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether interferon beta-1b passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using interferon beta-1b.

Interferons can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of an interferon beta-1b overdose are not known.

Use the medication as soon as you remember the missed dose. Then wait at least 48 hours before using another injection, and restart your dosing schedule at that time. Do not use more than one injection every 48 hours (2 days).

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Side Effects

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.

Stop using intereron beta-1b and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • depressed mood, anxiety, trouble sleeping, restlessness, or thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
  • bruising, swelling, oozing, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • weight changes, pounding heartbeats, feeling too hot or cold;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • weakness;
  • headache;
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • stomach pain;
  • swelling in your hands or feet;
  • skin rash; or
  • irregular menstrual periods.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

There may be other drugs that can affect interferon beta-1b. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Betaseron and interferon beta-1b

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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