Generic Name: Interferon Beta-1b (in ter FEER on BAY ta won bee)
Brand Name: Betaseron, Extavia
Medically reviewed on Feb 20, 2019
Uses of Interferon Beta-1b:
- It is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Interferon Beta-1b?
- If you have an allergy to interferon beta-1b or any other part of interferon beta-1b.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take interferon beta-1b with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Interferon Beta-1b?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take interferon beta-1b. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor. Some products have latex.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- This medicine is not a cure for MS (multiple sclerosis). Stay under the care of your doctor.
- This medicine is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may have viruses that may cause disease. This medicine is screened, tested, and treated to lower the chance that it carries an infection. Talk with the doctor.
- A lot of times, reactions happen where the shot was given. Sometimes, very bad reactions may happen. Check with your doctor if you have any reaction that bothers you or does not go away. Call your doctor right away if you have any break in the skin, color changes (blue or black), swelling, or drainage of fluid where the shot was given.
- Very bad health problems like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS) have happened with drugs like this one. Sometimes, this has been deadly. This has happened several weeks to years after starting treatment. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired or weak or have any bruising or bleeding, change in balance, change in eyesight, change in how much urine is passed, dark urine, fever, pale skin, trouble speaking or thinking, weakness on 1 side of the body, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) is a very bad health problem that has happened with interferon beta-1b. Sometimes, CLS can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you get signs of CLS like change in how much urine is passed; not able to pass urine; blood in the urine; a fast or abnormal heartbeat; chest pain or pressure; dizziness or passing out; shortness of breath; a big weight gain; swelling; throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; or if you have black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using interferon beta-1b while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Interferon Beta-1b) best taken?
Use interferon beta-1b as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- This medicine is not taken every day. Be sure you know how to take it. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- This medicine needs to be mixed before use. Follow how to mix as you were told by the doctor.
- Do not shake.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, or scarred.
- Throw away any part left over after the dose is given.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it. Then use your next dose about 48 hours later.
- Do not use interferon beta-1b 2 days in a row. If you use more than your doctor has told you or you use interferon beta-1b 2 days in a row, call your doctor right away.
- If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Very bad irritation where the shot was given.
- Change in balance.
- Swollen gland.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Not able to get or keep an erection.
- Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
- Low white blood cell counts have happened with interferon beta-1b. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.
- Heart problems like heart failure may get worse with interferon beta-1b. Call your doctor right away if you have a fast heartbeat, a need to pass more urine at night, shortness of breath, swollen ankles, or tightness in the chest. Call your doctor right away if you are not able to exercise as much or if you cannot lay flat in bed.
What are some other side effects of Interferon Beta-1b?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating. Mild pain drugs may help.
- Belly pain.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Muscle pain.
- Tense muscles.
- Passing urine more often.
- Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Interferon Beta-1b?
- Before mixing, store at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). You may store at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) for up to 3 months or until the expiration date, whichever comes first.
- Use right away after mixing or you may store in a refrigerator for up to 3 hours.
- Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time interferon beta-1b is refilled. If you have any questions about interferon beta-1b, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about interferon beta-1b
- Interferon beta-1b Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 5 Reviews
- Drug class: interferons