Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. You may also be taught how to give your medicine at home. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into a muscle.

If you are injecting interferon beta-1a yourself, use it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more or less of it, and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without checking first with your doctor. The exact amount of medicine you need has been carefully worked out. Using too much will increase the risk of side effects, while using too little may not improve your condition.

You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.

Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

Rebif® comes as an autoinjector or a prefilled syringe. It works best if you use it at the same time (usually in the late afternoon or evening) on the same three days (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) at least 48 hours apart each week.

Avonex® comes as a prefilled autoinjector pen, a prefilled syringe, or a powder. The powder must be mixed with sterile water before it is given. Do not shake the vial after you add the water. Gently swirl the water and medicine together to mix. The mixture should be clear or slightly yellow. Do not use the mixture if you see particles in it. Use the medicine as soon as possible after mixing. If you cannot give your shot right away, you can keep the syringe in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. After 6 hours, throw the medicine away and mix another dose.

Use a new needle, unopened vial, or syringe each time you inject your medicine. Do not use any other needle for the prefilled autoinjector pen.

Each package of interferon beta-1a injection contains a medication guide and patient instruction sheet. Read this sheet carefully and make sure you understand:

  • How to prepare the injection.
  • Proper use of disposable syringes.
  • How to give the injection.
  • How long the injection is stable.

If you have any questions about any of this, check with your doctor.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For multiple sclerosis (MS):
      • Adults—
        • For Avonex®:
          • 30 micrograms (mcg) injected into a muscle once a week, on the same day (e.g., every Monday right before bedtime). Your doctor may choose a different dose (more or less) if necessary.
        • For Rebif®:
          • At first, 4.4 or 8.8 mcg injected under the skin three times a week. Your doctor will adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. This will then change the time for your next dose. After using the missed dose, use your next regular dose of Rebif® 48 hours later and go back to your regular schedule the following week. For Avonex®, if your next regular dose is less than 2 days away, call your doctor. For either brand, do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose and do not use this medicine two days in a row.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store prefilled autoinjector pens, prefilled syringes, or vials in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. If refrigeration is not available, Rebif® prefilled syringes and Avonex® powder vials may be kept for up to 30 days at room temperature, away from heat (temperatures above 77 degrees F) and direct light. Avonex® prefilled autoinjector pens and prefilled syringes may be stored for up to 7 days at room temperature, away from heat (temperatures above 77 degrees F) and direct light. Allow Avonex® prefilled autoinjector pens and prefilled syringes to warm to room temperature (remove from the refrigerator for about 30 minutes) before injection but do not heat in a microwave oven or in hot water.

Throw the used needles away in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.