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INTERFERON BETA-1a (in ter FEER on BAY ta wun aye) helps to decrease the number of multiple sclerosis attacks and to slow physical disability in people with relapsing forms of the disease. The medicine does not cure multiple sclerosis.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
drink more than 3 alcohol containing drinks per day
heart disease or irregular heart beats/rhythm
immune system problems
an unusual or allergic reaction to interferon, hamster proteins, albumin, mannitol, or other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
This 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 it 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.
Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
The manufacturer of the medicine offers free information to patients and their health care partners. Call 877-447-3243 for more information.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
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. Do not give 2 injections within 2 days of each other. If you accidentally take a dose on 2 consecutive days, call your doctor or health care professional.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need frequent blood checks.
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.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.
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
pain at site where injected
severe stomach pain
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
swelling of the ankles
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusually weak or tired
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
redness or irritation at site where injected
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. If a refrigerator is not available, the medicine can be kept cool at or below 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) for up to 30 days. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.