Interferon Beta-1a Drug Information
Interferon beta-1a (Avonex®, Rebif®) is available only by prescription and is used to help treat multiple sclerosis (MS) in people with relapsing forms of the disease. This medication is not appropriate for everyone; your healthcare provider needs complete information on your medical history and what drugs you are taking before prescribing interferon beta-1a.
Common side effects of this medicine include but are not limited to:
- Skin reactions at the injection site, such as redness, pain, or burning
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills.
Because interferon beta-1a is a glycoprotein (made up of protein and carbohydrates), it would be broken down and destroyed by the digestive system if taken by mouth. For this reason, the medication must be injected to bypass the digestive tract.
(For more in-depth information on this drug, including why this product should never be shaken, click Interferon Beta-1a.)