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Generic name: interferon beta-1b [in-ter-FEAR-on-BAY-ta-1b]

Drug class: interferons

What is Extavia?

Extavia contains human proteins. Extavia is made from human proteins. Interferons are proteins that help the body fight viral infections.Extavia, a prescription medication, is used to treat relapsing MS. This medication will not cure MS but may reduce flare-ups.Extavia's safety and effectiveness in children are unknown.

Side effects of Extavia

If you experience any of the following: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat, please seek emergency medical attention.Interferon medication has caused depression or thoughts of suicide in some patients. Tell your doctor if any of the symptoms are worsening or new. Anxiety, mood changes, sleep problems and hallucinations can cause symptoms such as anxiety, mood changes, hallucinations or feelings such as impulsiveness, aggression depression hostility or thoughts of suicide.

Extavia should be stopped immediately, and you should consult your doctor if:

  • Fever, chills, sweating, tiredness, body aches;
  • A seizure;
  • Pain, swelling, or changes in the skin where the injection was made
  • Heart problems: chest tightness, swelling, and rapid weight gain.
  • Liver problems: nausea, vomiting, itching, and easy bruising. Dark urine, jaundice (yellowing skin or eyes),
  • New or worsening lupus symptoms include joint pain and a rash that is worse in the sun.

Extavia may cause the following side effects:

  • Low white blood cell count
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Headache, weakness;
  • Sleep problems (insomnia);
  • Stomach pain;
  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
  • Rash;
  • Flu symptoms
  • A skin reaction occurs where the medication was injected.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor.Contact the FDA by dialing 1-800-FDA-1088 in order to report side effects.


Extavia can be harmful to a baby in utero or cause a miscarriage. Extavia should not be used if you're pregnant. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.Tell your doctor before using Extavia if you're allergic to any medications, have liver disease, epilepsy, or another seizure disorder. Notify them if you suffer from anemia, bleeding disorders, blood clotting disorders, depression or suicidal thoughts.Interferon beta-1b may trigger suicidal thoughts in some individuals. Be alert to any changes in mood or symptoms. Notify your doctor of any new symptoms or symptoms that worsen.The liver can be damaged by interferon beta-1b. If you experience nausea or vomiting, or if your skin or eyes are yellow or swollen, call your doctor immediately.Extavia must be regularly tested to ensure it is not having any harmful effects. You may need to test your thyroid function. Keep all scheduled appointments.

Before you take this drug

Extavia should not be used if you have an allergy to interferon beta or albumin.

Tell your doctor about any of the following to ensure that Extavia will be safe for you:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart problems
  • A seizure;
  • Depression or anxiety;
  • A bleeding or blood-clotting disorder;
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • Anemia (lack of red blood cells);
  • Allergy to latex

Notify your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or nursing.

How to take Extavia?

Extavia should be taken exactly as prescribed by your physician. Read all the instructions and directions that come with your prescription. Sometimes your doctor will change the dose.Extavia injections are usually given every other day. You may be taught how to use the medicine by a healthcare provider.Please read and follow all instructions for use that come with your medication.if you do not understand the instructions, consult your physician or pharmacist.Only prepare an injection when you are prepared to administer it.If the medicine is cloudy, has changed color, or contains particles, do not use it. For new medicine, call your pharmacist.Your healthcare provider can show you the best place to inject Extavia. Each time you inject, use a new place. Don't inject in the same spot twice.Medical tests will be required frequently.However, the diluent should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.Store the medicine in the fridge and use it within 3 hours. Do not freeze.Each vial or syringe prefilled is only for one-time use. Even if the medicine is still inside, throw it out after use. Anything not used in 3 months should be thrown away.

Only use a needle or syringe once, and then store them in a "sharps container" that is puncture-proof. Be sure to follow local or state laws on how to properly dispose of the container. Keep the container out of reach of pets and children.

Details on dosage

Adult dose for multiple sclerosis:

Initial dose: 0.0625mg subcutaneously every alternate day. Increased (in 25% increments every 2 weeks) every 6 weeks to the maintenance dose
Maintenance dose: 0.25mg subcutaneously every alternate day.
Schedule for dose titration:
In weeks 1 and 2, 0.0625 mg percutaneously every alternate day (25%)
In weeks 3 and 4, 0.125 mg subcutaneously twice daily (50% of the recommended dosage)
In weeks 5 and 6, 0.1875 mg per day subcutaneously (75% of the recommended dosage)
After week 7: 0.25 mg percutaneously every alternate day (100% of the recommended dosage).
Use: To reduce the frequency and severity of exacerbations in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. Patients with multiple sclerosis who are shown to be efficacious include those with a first clinical episode and MRI features that are consistent with multiple sclerosis.

What happens if I miss the dose?

As soon as you realize that you have missed a dose, take it as soon as possible. Wait at least 48 (two) hours before you inject again. Restart your schedule then. Use no more than one shot every 48 hours.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect poisoning. Or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

Do not inject this medication into any skin that is infected, sore, or red.

Avoid alcohol.Alcohol may increase the risk of liver disease.

Interaction with other drug

Interferon beta-1b can interact with other drugs, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you stop or start using.