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Drug


Betaseron
interferon beta 1b
 



Generic Name:interferon beta-1b
Pronounced:in ter FEAR on BAY tah 1b
Brand Name:Betaseron

What is the most important information I should know about interferon beta-1b?

Some patients taking interferons have become very depressed and/or anxious. There have been patients taking interferons who have had thoughts about killing themselves. If you feel sad or hopeless you should tell a friend or family member right away and call your doctor immediately.

What is interferon beta-1b?
Interferon beta-1b is a protein. Interferons are released in the body in response to viral infections. Interferons are important for fighting viruses in the body, for regulating the reproduction of cells, and for regulating the immune system.
Interferon beta-1b is a specific interferon used in the treatment of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis to slow the development of physical disability and to decrease the frequency of exacerbations.
Interferon beta-1b may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using interferon beta-1b?
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to use interferon beta-1b, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have an allergy to human albumin or any other serious illness. You may not be able to use interferon beta-1b, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
Interferon beta-1b is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether interferon beta-1b will be harmful to an unborn baby. Interferon beta-1b has been reported to cause spontaneous abortion.Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether interferon beta-1b passes into breast milk. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How should I use interferon beta-1b?

Use interferon beta-1b exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.
Interferon beta-1b is used as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. Your doctor or nurse will give you detailed instructions on how and where to inject interferon beta-1b. Do not inject this medication if you are unsure how.
Once the solution is mixed, use it as soon as possible. If you do not use it immediately, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours. Do not allow the solution to freeze.
It is important to rotate the site of injection with each dose to minimize the risk of injection site reactions or damage to the tissue. Injections may be administered to the upper buttocks, thighs, abdomen, and the back of the upper arms. Do not inject this medication into any site that is red, painful, or hard.
Do not inject interferon beta-1b if it is discolored or has particles in it.
Do not stop using this medication without first talking to your doctor.
Never reuse a needle or syringe. Dispose of all needles and syringes in an appropriate, puncture-resistant disposal container.
Store interferon beta-1b at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not expose the medication to extremes of temperature.

What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Plan the next dose for 48 hours later or as directed by your doctor. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of an interferon beta-1b overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while using interferon beta-1b?
There are no specific restrictions on food, beverages, or activities during treatment with interferon beta-1b. Follow any special instructions given by your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of interferon beta-1b?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using interferon beta-1b and seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • redness, pain, swelling, drainage, or discoloration at the injection site; or
  • depression or suicidal thoughts.
Your liver function may be affected. Symptoms of changes in your liver include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and easy bruising. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
You may have a drop in the levels of infection-fighting white blood cells, red blood cells, or cells that help you form blood clots. If drops in levels are severe, they can lessen your ability to fight infections, make you feel tired or sluggish or cause you to bruise or bleed easily. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your thyroid function may change. Symptoms of changes in the function of your thyroid include feeling cold or hot much of the time or change in your weight (gain or loss) without a change in your diet or amount of exercise you are getting. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Some patients taking interferons have become very depressed and/or anxious. There have been patients taking interferons who have had thoughts about killing themselves. If you feel sad or hopeless you should tell a friend or family member right away and call your doctor immediately.
Flulike symptoms are likely to occur. They are most common at the start of therapy and may decrease with continued use. Over-the-counter fever reducers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, others), and naproxen (Aleve), plenty of fluid, and taking the medication at bedtime may help to alleviate these symptoms. Continue to use interferon beta-1b and notify your doctor if you experience
  • fever or chills;
  • headache;
  • muscle aches;
  • nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite; or
  • dizziness or drowsiness.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect interferon beta-1b?
It is not known if other drugs interact with interferon beta-1b. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has additional information about interferon beta-1b written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?
Interferon beta-1b is available with a prescription under the brand name Betaseron. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with other, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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.


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