Rebif

Generic Name: Interferon beta-1a

  • What is Rebif?

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

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

    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.

    Rebif may cause you to develop liver problems. Your doctor may have you take regular blood test to make sure that your liver is working properly. If your skin or the whites of your eyes become yellow or if you are bruising easily, you should contact your doctor right away.

    Rebif may cause redness, pain, or swelling at the site of injection. Additionally, Rebif 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.

    There have been reports of Rebif 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 Rebif.

  • Who should not take Rebif?

    Do not take Rebif 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 Rebif?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Rebif. 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 recommended dose of Rebif is 22 micrograms (mcg) or 44 mcg injected under your skin (subcutaneously) three times per week. Your doctor will determine the appropriate starting dose for you.

  • How should I take Rebif?

    Rebif should be given at the same time (preferably in the late afternoon or evening) on the same three days a week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Each injection should be given at least 48 hours apart. It is important that you rotate your injection site each time you take Rebif. This will lessen your chance of experiencing any injection-site reactions.

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

  • What should I avoid while taking Rebif?

    You should avoid becoming pregnant while taking Rebif. You should also talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is unknown whether Rebif passes into human milk.

    Avoid taking any new medications without talking to your doctor first. Rebif can interact with other medications and may cause serious side effects.

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

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

    If Rebif is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Rebif with medications known as myelosuppressive agents.

  • What are the possible side effects of Rebif?

    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: headache, flulike symptoms, injection-site reactions, fatigue, muscle pain, abdominal pain, fever, liver problems, blood or thyroid problems

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

    You should not use Rebif if you are pregnant. Rebif may cause harm or even death to a developing fetus. It is not known whether Rebif 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 Rebif?

    If you miss a dose of Rebif, take your next dose as soon as you remember. It is important that you then skip the next day. Do not take Rebif on two consecutive days; each dose should be given 48 hours apart. You should return to your regular dosing schedule the following week.

  • How should I store Rebif?

    Rebif should be stored in the refrigerator (not the freezer).

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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