Several studies have evaluated interferon beta-1b for MS treatment. In one study, people who took interferon beta-1b had fewer MS exacerbations, compared to people taking a placebo injection (with no active ingredient).
In addition, as many as 25 percent of those taking interferon beta-1b for two years did not experience any MS exacerbations, compared to only 16 percent of those taking the placebo. MRI brain scans showed that people had significantly fewer lesions after two years of taking interferon beta-1b, compared with those who took the placebo.
General considerations for when and how to take interferon beta-1b include the following:
- Interferon beta-1b comes as an injection. It is injected subcutaneously (just under the skin) every other day in the evening before bedtime. You will start at a low dose and slowly work up to a full dose.
- Take interferon beta-1b at the same time each day. You may need to develop a system to remember which days you take Interferon beta-1b (and which days you do not).
- Each interferon beta-1b vial is for a single use only. If your dose is less than the full vial, any unused portion must be discarded (it cannot be saved for later).
- It is best to inject interferon beta-1b into areas of the skin that have a layer of fat underneath. This includes the thigh, outer upper arm, stomach (away from the navel), or buttocks. Try to rotate the injection sites (do not inject in the same place twice in a row).
- Make sure your healthcare provider teaches you exactly how to inject interferon beta-1b. This includes how to prepare the skin, how to prepare and mix the injection, how to inject the medication, and what to do with your used needles (this may vary, depending on the local laws and regulations).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Interferon beta-1b will not work if you stop taking it.