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INTERFERON, BETA-1B (Systemic)
Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Interferon beta-1b (in-ter-FEER-on BAY-ta) is used to treat the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but may decrease the number of relapses of the disease.
This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage form(s):
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For interferon beta-1b, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to interferons or human albumin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Interferon beta-1b has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that it may cause miscarriages. Be sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether interferon beta-1b passes into breast milk. Because of the possibility of serious unwanted effects in the nursing infant, it is important that you discuss the use of this medicine with your doctor if you wish to breast-feed.
Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of interferon beta-1b in children with use in other age groups.
Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of interferon beta-1b in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of interferon beta-1b. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor in order to help your condition as much as possible.
Taking interferon beta-1b at bedtime may help lessen the flu-like symptoms.
Special patient directions come with interferon beta-1b. Read the directions carefully before using this medicine.
It is important to follow several steps to prepare your interferon beta-1b injection correctly. Before injecting the medication, you need to:
In order to keep everything sterile, it is important that you do not touch the tops of the vials or the needles. If you do touch a stopper, clean it with a fresh alcohol wipe. If you touch a needle, or if the needle touches any surface, throw away the entire syringe and start over with a new syringe. Also, use only the diluent (sodium chloride 0.54%) provided with the interferon beta-1b to dilute the medicine for injection.
To mix the contents of one vial:
To prepare the injection syringe:
The injection should be administered immediately after mixing. If the injection is delayed, refrigerate the solution and inject it within 3 hours.
To give yourself the injection:
Before you self-inject the interferon beta-1b dose, decide where you will inject yourself. There are eight areas for injection, and each area has an upper, a middle, and a lower injection site. To help prevent injection site reactions, select a site in an area different from the area where you last injected yourself. You should not choose the same area for two injections in a row. Keeping a record of your injections will help make sure you rotate areas.
Do not self-inject into any area in which you feel lumps, bumps, firm knots, or pain. Do not use any area in which the skin is discolored, depressed, red, scabbed, tender, or has broken open. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about these or any other unusual conditions that you find. If you experience a break in the skin or drainage of fluid from the injection site, contact your doctor before continuing injections with interferon beta-1b.
To dispose of needles and syringes:
Needles, syringes, and vials should be used for only one injection. Place all used syringes, needles, and vials in a syringe disposal unit or in a hard-walled plastic container, such as a liquid laundry detergent container. Keep the cover closed tightly, and keep the container out of the reach of children. When the container is full, check with your physician or nurse about proper disposal, as laws vary from state to state.
Dosing—The dose of interferon beta-1b will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of interferon beta-1b. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as remembered. The next injection should be scheduled about 48 hours later.
Storage—To store this medicine:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Abdominal pain; break in the skin at place of injection, with blue-black discoloration, swelling, or drainage of fluid; flu-like symptoms including chills, fever, generalized feeling of discomfort or illness, increased sweating, and muscle pain; headache or migraine; hives, itching, or swelling at place of injection; hypertension (high blood pressure); irregular or pounding heartbeat; pain at place of injection; redness or feeling of heat at place of injection; stuffy nose
Breast pain; bloody or cloudy urine; changes in vision; cold hands and feet; difficult, burning, or painful urination; fast or racing heartbeat; frequent urge to urinate; pain; pelvic pain; swollen glands; troubled breathing; unusual weight gain
Abnormal growth in breast; benign lumps in breast; bleeding problems; bloating or swelling; changes in menstrual periods; confusion; convulsions (seizures); cyst (abnormal growth filled with fluid or semisolid material); decreased sexual ability in males; dry, puffy skin; feeling cold; hyperactivity; increased muscle tone; increased urge to urinate; loss of memory; mental depression with thoughts of suicide; problems in speaking; red, itching, or swollen eyes; swelling of front part of neck; unusual weight loss
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; laryngitis (loss of voice); menstrual pain or other changes; unusual tiredness or weakness
Anxiety; drowsiness; hair loss; nervousness; vomiting
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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