What is Rebif used for and how does it work?
Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on May 25, 2020.
- Rebif is used to treat certain types of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in adults.
- Experts aren’t sure exactly how Rebif works but it is thought to work by stopping the immune system from attacking the myelin sheath.
- Rebif does not cure MS but it helps reduce the symptoms of MS and decrease the number of relapses.
Rebif is an interferon-beta (interferon beta-1a) that is indicated for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults who are aged over 18. This includes clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease. It is not known if Rebif is safe and effective in children.
Rebif is administered by subcutaneous injection under the skin three times a week. It should be administered on the same three days and at the same time, if possible. For example, late afternoon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Doses should be at least 48 hours apart.
Rebif is considered an immunosuppressant because it affects how the immune system works and is thought to work by stopping the immune system from attacking the myelin sheath. It may also be called a disease-modifying drug.
How does Rebif work?
Interferons are a group of proteins that are produced naturally by the body in response to viral infections.
Experts aren’t sure exactly how Rebif works for MS but believe it helps control immune system activities, preventing the immune system from attacking the myelin sheath.
Rebif helps to inhibit inflammation that can cause MS flare-ups. Rebif may also help slow the progression of physical disability associated with MS and reduce the number of relapses.
- Rebif (interferon beta-1a) [Package Insert] EMD Serono, Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/rebif.html
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