Generic Name: interferon beta-1b (IN-ter-FEER-on BAY-ta)
Brand Name: Examples include Betaseron and Extavia
Betaseron solution is used for:
Treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to reduce the number of flare-ups and slow down the development of physical disability associated with MS.
Betaseron solution is a protein similar to one found in the body. Exactly how it works is not known.
Do NOT use Betaseron solution if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Betaseron solution, to another interferon beta, to albumin products, or to mannitol
- you are using another medicine that contains interferon beta-1b
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Betaseron solution:
Some medical conditions may interact with Betaseron solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of liver problems, heart problems (eg, heart failure), thyroid problems, blood or bone marrow problems (eg, anemia, easy bleeding or bruising, low white blood cell levels), seizures, mood or mental problems (eg, depression), or suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- if you have a history of trouble sleeping
- if you drink alcohol
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Betaseron solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Telbivudine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Betaseron solution
- Medicines that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection) because the risk of liver side effects may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Betaseron solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Betaseron solution:
Use Betaseron solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Betaseron solution comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. It also comes with detailed instructions for use. Read them carefully. Read them again each time you get Betaseron solution refilled.
- Betaseron solution is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Betaseron solution at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Betaseron solution. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Betaseron solution must be mixed before using it. Gently swirl Betaseron solution to mix it. Do NOT shake Betaseron solution. Shaking and even gentle mixing can cause foaming of the medicine. If there is foam, let the vial sit until the foam settles before using it.
- Do not use Betaseron solution if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Use the proper technique taught to you by your doctor. Inject deep under the skin, NOT into muscle or a vein.
- Rotate injection sites. Do not inject into an area of the body where the skin is irritated, red, bruised, infected, or scarred in any way. If you experience a break in the skin, blue-black discoloration of the skin, or fluid drainage from the injection site, contact your health care provider at once before continuing use of Betaseron solution.
- Use a new, unopened vial of Betaseron solution and syringe for each injection. Throw away any unused medicine.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of Betaseron solution, use it as soon as possible. Then use your next dose about 48 hours later. Do not use Betaseron solution 2 days in a row. Do not use 2 doses at once. Check with your doctor if you are unsure what to do if you miss a dose.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Betaseron solution.
Important safety information:
- Do not change your dose of Betaseron solution without checking with your doctor.
- Some patients become depressed or suicidal while taking Betaseron solution. If you begin to feel depressed or suicidal, contact your doctor.
- Betaseron solution commonly causes flu-like symptoms (eg, fever, chills, sweating, tiredness, muscle aches). Talk to your doctor about whether you should take a nonprescription medicine for pain or fever reduction before or after taking Betaseron solution.
- Betaseron solution may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Betaseron solution may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Betaseron solution is not a cure for MS. Remain under the care of your doctor.
- Betaseron solution contains albumin, which comes from human blood. There is a very rare risk of getting a viral disease or a central nervous system disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from products with albumin. No cases of these problems have been found in patients who have used Betaseron solution.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, liver function, and thyroid function, may be performed while you use Betaseron solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Betaseron solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Betaseron solution may cause harm to the fetus. It may cause you to miscarry. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Betaseron solution is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Betaseron solution.
Possible side effects of Betaseron solution:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Decreased sexual ability; flu-like symptoms (eg, low-grade fever, general body discomfort, unusual sweating); frequent urination; headache; mild pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; mild stomach pain; muscle pain or weakness; nausea; trouble sleeping; unusual spotting or menstrual bleeding; weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blue-black skin discoloration, skin breakdown, oozing, or persistent pain or swelling around the injection site; chest pain; decreased coordination; fast or irregular heartbeat; feeling cold or hot all the time; muscle stiffness; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, nervousness); persistent trouble sleeping; seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen lymph nodes; symptoms of infection (eg, severe or persistent fever, chills, sore throat); symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, unusual nausea or vomiting, right-sided stomach pain, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual weight gain or loss.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Betaseron solution:
Store Betaseron solution at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Betaseron solution may be stored at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) for up to 3 months. After mixing, the medicine may be stored in the refrigerator but should be used within 3 hours after mixing. Do not freeze. Keep Betaseron solution, as well as needles and syringes, out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Betaseron solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Betaseron solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Betaseron solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Betaseron solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Betaseron solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Betaseron solution.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about Betaseron (interferon beta-1b)
- Other brands: Extavia