What is the most important information I should know about interferon beta-1b?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a serious allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching, or swelling in your mouth or tongue.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking interferon beta-1b. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Interferon beta-1b can harm your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, vomiting, itching, bruising or bleeding, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
What is interferon beta-1b?
Interferon beta-1b is used to treat is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This medicine will not cure MS, but it may decrease flare-ups.
Interferon beta-1b may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using interferon beta-1b?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to interferon beta, albumin, or mannitol.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver disease;
- heart problems;
- a seizure;
- depression, anxiety, or sleep problems;
- a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;
- low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- anemia (lack of red blood cells); or
- an allergy to latex.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I use interferon beta-1b?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Interferon beta-1b is injected under the skin, usually every other day. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.
Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy, has changed colors, or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Your healthcare provider will show you where on your body to inject interferon beta-1b. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.
You will need frequent medical tests.
Store unmixed interferon beta-1b and the diluent at cool room temperature away from moisture and heat.
After mixing, store the medicine in the refrigerator and use within 3 hours. Do not freeze.
Each single-use vial (bottle) or prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside. Throw away any interferon beta-1b that is not used within 3 months.
Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Then wait at least 48 hours (2 days) before using another injection, and restart your dosing schedule at that time. Do not use more than one injection every 48 hours.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using interferon beta-1b?
Avoid injecting this medicine into skin that is sore, red, or infected.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver problems.
What are the possible side effects of interferon beta-1b?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some patients using interferon medicines have become very depressed or had thoughts of suicide. Report any new or worsening symptoms of depression to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, or if you feel impulsive, hostile, aggressive, depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Stop using interferon beta-1b and call your doctor at once if you have:
- fever, chills, sweating, tiredness, body aches;
- a seizure;
- pain, swelling, redness, or skin changes where an injection was given;
- heart problems --chest tightness, swelling, rapid weight gain, trouble lying flat in bed, feeling short of breath;
- liver problems --nausea, vomiting, itching, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or
- new or worsening symptoms of lupus --joint pain, and a skin rash on your cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight.
Common side effects may include:
- low white blood cell counts;
- abnormal liver function tests;
- headache, weakness;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- stomach pain;
- muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness;
- flu symptoms; or
- a skin reaction where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect interferon beta-1b?
Other drugs may affect interferon beta-1b, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about interferon beta-1b.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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