Also known as: Avonex, Avonex Pen, Avonex Prefilled Syringe, Rebif, Rebif Rebidose
The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.
Avonex Pen (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 32, apparently the sweet spot for diagnosis. Started taking Avonex about 10 years ago and welcomed the Pen, haven't had any MS symptoms for over 3 years. Still get 'flu like symptoms'. I take extra strength Ibuprofen before injection and it helps to make life easier to handle.
Avonex Pen (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: Avonex is good because it's once a week; the Pen makes it so much more convenient. Unlike my experience with Copaxone and Rebif, I have very few (if any) site reactions. I have used Avonex in all it's forms (powder you have to mix yourself, prefilled syringes, and now the Pen) and the Pen is the only one with almost NO flu-like side effects! Love it!
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was diagnosed in Nov 2006. Avonex did not work, so early in 2007 I started on Rebif. 6 years no relapses. I would get very bad headaches on the 2 day stretch with no Rebif. I made the mistake of stopping my Rebif for about 6 months and I had a relapse. Face is numb and legs and feet tingly. I regret stopping for the 6 months. I should have called MSlifelines and figured out how to manage the headaches. Regardless, I am back on Rebif and will gladly stuffer a headache if I don't suffer any more relapses. If the goings good..don't quit!
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I am a 31 male, 200lbs,and was diagnosed with RR Multiple Sclerosis Feb. 2012, after losing sight in one eye, and some steroid treatment my vision returned however, the color is still a little off. My Neurologist put me on Rebif immediately. Since I have been on Rebif I have not experienced any major relapses. Just some tremors now and then and other minor symptoms that just maybe permanent nerve damage. I take the 44mcg dose at bedtime with 400mg of ibuprofen, it seems to help me sleep through the night. I do get headaches often but the ibuprofen seems to help (not eliminate them). I also get flu symptoms sometimes the day after I take a shot but not always. My liver enzymes are slightly elevated but, nothing to worry about. Thank you Rebif.
Review by Avonexveteran (taken for 10 years or more):
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: Avonex has been a God send to me. I was diagnosed in 95 after experiencing several bad attacks one of which required hospitalization. Started Avonex in June 96 one month after it came to market. Got some side effects early on (mainly fatigue) but they soon went away. I no longer have any side effects, don't even premedicate. The injections are little more than a minor inconvenience . More importantly I have remained stable with no attacks.
I did experience some fatigue when starting to use the the prefilled syringe. I quickly went back to original powdered form and remain on it to this day. I probably could have adjusted to the prefilled syringe but choose not do do so. I expect to continue with the Avonex injections unless it stops working, I develop bad side effects, or a cure is found. All unlikely scenarios at this point. I expect to be on it for life.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosed in 1999 and was placed on Rebif since 2004. Never had any other meds. Overall Rebif was good for me, I had 3 years with a minor relapse in each year (but did steroid treatment to resolve) and then I had no relapses, I must admit that I would skip at least 2 times a year and give myself a Rebif holiday- a week of not taking Rebif, (I don't recommend this!) I would always let me doctor know. Despite my success, I stopped in 10/2012 because Rebif never let me feel like myself and I was ALWAYS tired and sluggish. Unfortunately, in 3/2013 I had a terrible relapse that landed me in the hospital for a few days. My neuro said it was aggressive and wants me on Tysabri now.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was on it for 18 months. It was like taking a shot of the flu every week. The side effects never got better. After massive amounts of research, I finally went to supplements, healthy eating, mindfulness, taking toxins out of my daily life, exercise and of course prayer. I still live with my MS symptoms, but, I will work out at the gym, I will ride my bike 100 miles this week and continue working productively. Don't ever give up!
Avonex Prefilled Syringe (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosed in 1997, immediately started with the older version of syringe, pill and liquid which I had to mix and then inject. Started with the prefilled syringes around 2005?( /- years) Initial signs prior to medication were double vision and pins and needles sensation on the right side and loss of sensitivity in hands. Occasionally, the exacerbation may come with weakness on one side of my body. Currently, I might have one exacerbation every few years, when I do have an %u201Cattack%u201D, my doctors give high dose steroids and I usually come out of it relatively quickly with no major residual effects. Avonex has worked well for me.
Review by Eugene Orygun (taken for 5 to 10 years):
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I started Avonex about 6 months after diagnosis. I got terribly sick after injecting. It was like coming down with the flu once a week. I felt feverish and painfully achy. I took naproxen and that helped. Later on I asked my neurologist for Vicodin to help out with the achy pain. Together the medicines helped the side effects. I never miss a week and as I injected more and more, the side effects have lessened to the point that with Vicodin I can work well on my injection days. I cannot sleep thru the night on an injection. I sleep poorly and wake up in pain several times. I have not had a relapse in five years on Avonex though my balance and leg have slowly worsened somewhat. I still work my feet full time.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: The flu like symptoms are horrible. I was told to take Tylenol night time before I took the shot. I did and it seems to help with the effects of the shot.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was responsible for my insurance deductible, but the insurance covered the rest.
This once a week medication is very convenient, and I would recommend it. After the first few injections I had the chills and flu like symptoms, and the symptoms decreased as time went on. After the initial few issues, I injected weekly without symptoms.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have been taking Avonex for close to 16 years and my biggest fear in the world is losing access to it. I started on Betaseron but had to stop because of injection site reactions and severe flu symptoms. I had been through everything. Complete invalidity, lying in a hospital bed to basically healthy with no noticeable symptoms at all. But since being on the Avonex, I have only very minor exacerbations , less than one per year. In the last 10+ years, I have not missed any work or cancelled any vacations for MS issues. My only problem is the cost.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have had multiple sclerosis since 07/2007. On 05/2012 I have had a relapse. I have been on Rebif since 07/2007, it's awful to have this relapse, my right arm is still not 100% back. Rebif is a good medicine though, I have minimal to no side effects, I do get severe hot flashes during the times I do get to sleep...leaving me to have to constantly change my shirt every 2 hours. Regardless I'm kind of upset that I went through a relapse within 5 years of be being diagnosed.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: First off, I was diagnosed with MS about a year ago, after having many relapses in a 6 month period. I was put on Rebif and after that I have not seen one more problem. It has given me a wonderful peace of mind.
Second, I know there is a long list of side effects, however, I have not had one, So I take my shot anytime during the day.
Third, my insurance is through Pfizer, which is the co-producer of this drug, so therefore I dont pay a penny out of pocket for this drug.
Honestly, thank God for this remarkable drug!
10 users found this comment helpful.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I've only been on Avonex for 2 weeks, but I have not experienced any of the bad side effects that others have mentioned. Had just a slight headache the first time, and nothing today. I do take 2 ibuprofen twice on injection day, along with an Aleve and perhaps 2 liters of water. Despite my initial fears, the injection is painless.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 6 years ago. I had/have mild symptoms. I began taking Avonex immediately and have had no significant change in symptoms. I take 1 Aleve an hour before my injection. I chose the last night of my work week so I can't dread "the day." I rotate my injection-left thigh, left hip, right hip, right thigh. I think this will help avoid irritation, though I've never had a problem anyway. My husband gives me my shot so I don't have to look at the needle. I also cough because someone told me you can't tense other muscles during a cough. I relax, and he injects the needle on my second cough. Many times I don't feel a thing. When I do it's minimal. Hip shots are the easiest. I always make sure the Avonex is at room temperature.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: EXTREMELY blessed to have insurance coverage for this medicine. I have Multiple Sclerosis and am 29 years old. I have been sick for about 3 years now, which was about 6 months after the birth of my first and only child. My prior conditions are mostly autoimmune, ranging from Cardiomyopathy to Crohn's Disease. My disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis include right leg/foot drop or weakness, numbness, urinary issues, balance issues, SEVERE nerve pain, etc. I have been on Rebif for a month and have titrated up to the highest level of 44mcg. I have extreme fatigue, bruising at injection site, and flu like symptoms, but I have noticed the longer I have been on it, the better my worst days are. So I am praying this will work.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I recommend Avonex 100%. I have had MS 8 yrs and since have had no new lesions or episodes. The flu-like symptoms were bad for the first 3 or 4 years but have since basically disappeared. Occasionally, I will have headaches the morning after the shot. Hope this helps you in your decision to choose Avonex.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I took Avonez for 3 1/2 years. I experienced the flu-like reaction about 70% of the time. I fell frequently and was extremely depressed. I did the injections in late afternoon (Friday) and was down for 24 -48 hours. My recent MRI showed more MS activity. I am now trying a different medication.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have been an MS patient since I was 17, I am 29 now, I have been using Avonex for 10 years now and am so happy with the results. I take it before I go to bed at night on a weekend, I also take a couple of Tylenol with codeine (#1) and usually only have a slight headache when I wake up in the morning. I do get a lot of migraines, but who knows if that has anything to do with the medication or the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis. Avonex has worked wonders for me, I usually only have an MS attack on average every 3 to 4 years and they aren't usually that severe. I have relapsing and remitting MS. I would recommend Avonex to anyone who is newly diagnosed. It has changed my life.
13 users found this comment helpful.
Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have been on Avonex for 1 month. I chose it due to the injections once a week. I do not even feel the needle or medication go in. I do ice the area well for 3 minutes and make sure the alcohol dries completely before injecting with the smaller needle. Each week the side effects have been easier but they are still quite strong. I do sleep 8 hours after the injection but wake feeling like I did not sleep at all and like I was run over by a truck until about 20 hours after the injection. It has taken 3 days to get my energy back so far. However I do notice that my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have improved and I have had feeling in my left foot for the first time since my first attack 3 months ago so that makes it worth sticking with for now.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was diagnosed with MS in 07/2009 and started this medication in 11/2009. I was titrated up to 22 mg and then titrated up to the 44mg within 4 months of starting medicines. I got an emergency phone call from the Neuro. office after routine blood work came back telling me to immediately move back down to 22mg dose. I had elevated liver enzymes for an entire year on this medication. Finally the levels dropped to normal range. Four months after the liver enzymes normalized I stopped having the flu like symptoms (Fever, headache, general unwell feeling). I take a Naproxen about an hour before each shot. I still get site reactions and some bruising at injection site (and burning when medicine is going in). I use the RebiSmart Injector.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have been taking Rebif - I see an improvement in my work and in my attitude and everyday interactions with friends and family. Making me feel a lot better.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I have been diagnosed with MS since April '09. I was first given Copaxone but that medication failed for me. My Doctor then decided to put me on Rebif and there was only time that I had forgotten to take Aspirin before taking the shot and that time I felt really bad the next day... other than that one time, the only other problem that I dislike about taking Rebif is the concept of giving myself a shot but the good part about Rebif is that it has kept me in remission for roughly a year now.
13 users found this comment helpful.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis: I was diagnosed with MS almost a year and half ago. I was on Avonex, but symptoms seems to worsen, so my Doctor switched me to Rebif. I wish I had taken this medication from the beginning! I love love love this injection! I have been on Rebif for almost a month now and can already tell a difference. I have not had any symptoms in 4 days! Which is really good for me, because I always have symptoms everyday. I recommend this to everyone! I have had no side effects, but headache. Its been great for me. No injection irritations at all.
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