Betaseron

Generic Name: Interferon beta-1b

  • What is Betaseron?

    Betaseron is for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Betaseron will not cure multiple sclerosis, but may decrease the frequency of flare-ups and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability of the disease.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Betaseron?

    Some patients treated with this class of medication have experienced symptoms of serious depression. If you are feeling noticeably sadder or helpless, or feel like hurting yourself or others, you should tell a family member or friend and contact your doctor right away.

    There have been reports of Betaseron causing severe allergic reactions leading to difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness. Less severe reactions such as itching, flushing or skin bumps can also occur. Contact your doctor right away if you feel that you are having an allergic reaction to Betaseron.

    Betaseron may cause redness, pain, or swelling at the site of injection. Additionally, Betaseron may also cause you to develop skin infections or cause severe skin damage. If one of your injection sites becomes swollen and painful or if the area looks infected and it doesn't heal within a few days, contact your doctor right away.

    Do not take Betaseron if you are pregnant or become pregnant. Betaseron may cause harm or even death to the developing fetus.

  • Who should not take Betaseron?

    Do not take Betaseron if you ever had an allergic reaction to interferon beta or to human albumin.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Betaseron?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Betaseron. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver disease, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, problems with your thyroid gland, blood problems, seizures, or if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The initial dose of Betaseron is 0.065 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin (subcutaneously) every other day. Your doctor will then increase your dose over a 6-week period to 0.25 mg every other day.

  • How should I take Betaseron?

    Betaseron should be given at the same time (preferably in the late afternoon or evening) every other day. Each injection should be given at least 48 hours apart. It is important that you rotate your injection site each time you take Betaseron. This will lessen your chance of experiencing any injection-site reactions.

    Always use a new, unopened, prefilled syringe of Betaseron for each injection. Never reuse syringes. Read the patient information leaflet for detailed instructions on how to prepare and give an injection of Betaseron. Ask your doctor of pharmacist if you need any advice.

  • What should I avoid while taking Betaseron?

    You should avoid becoming pregnant while taking Betaseron. You should also talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is unknown whether Betaseron can be passed to an infant through human milk.

    Avoid injecting Betaseron into an area of skin that is sore, reddened, or infected.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Betaseron?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Betaseron at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Betaseron?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: injection-site reactions, flulike symptoms, headache, pain, fever, chills, insomnia, rash, abdominal pain, depression, anxiety, allergic reaction, liver problems, blood problems, thyroid problems

  • Can I receive Betaseron if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    You should not use Betaseron if you are pregnant. Betaseron may cause harm or even death to a developing fetus. It is not known whether Betaseron is excreted in human milk. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Betaseron?

    If you miss a dose of Betaseron, take your next dose as soon as you remember. It is important that you then skip the next day. Do not take Betaseron on two consecutive days, each dose should be given 48 hours apart.

  • How should I store Betaseron?

    Store at room temperature. After reconstitution, if not used immediately, the product should be refrigerated and used within 3 hours.

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