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Generic name: interferon beta-1a [in-ter-FEAR-on-BAY-ta]
Drug class: interferons

What is Rebif?

Rebif is made of human proteins. Interferons are proteins that help the body fight viral infections.The treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis in adults includes clinically isolated syndromes, relapsing remitting diseases, and active secondary progressing disease.Rebif does not cure MS. It will only reduce the frequency of relapses.

Side effects of Rebif

If you experience any of the following symptoms: hives, itching or anxiety, difficulty breathing, swelling on your face or in your throat, or severe skin reactions (fever, sore eyes, skin pain or blistering, a red or purple rash, or skin that is burning or peeling), then seek emergency medical attention.Interferon beta-1a can cause dangerous blood clots inside the small vessels of your organs, such as your kidneys or brain. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue, decreased urination, or nosebleeds.

If you experience:

  • Pain, swelling, bruising, or changes in the skin where the injection has been given
  • A feeling of lightheadedness, as if you could pass out.
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior (feeling depressed, hopeless, anxious, or nervous);
  • Thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
  • Easy bruising and unusual bleeding
  • A seizure;
  • Heart problem: swelling, rapid weight increase, feeling of shortness of breath, rapid pulse, chest pain that spreads to the jaw or shoulder area, nausea, and sweating.
  • Liver disease: nausea, fatigue, confusion, easy bleeding or bruising, dark urine or clay-colored stool, or Jaundice: yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • Signs and symptoms of an infection: fever, chills; cough with mucus or bloody diarrhea; pain or burning in the urination area
  • Dryness, thinning of hair, menstrual change, weight changes, and feeling more sensitive to heat or cold.

Some of the common side effects of Rebif include:

  • Low blood cell count
  • Skin changes at the injection site
  • Depression;
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Stomach pain;
  • Flu symptoms include fatigue, weakness, back pain, headaches, fever, and chills.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.


Some people can have suicidal feelings when they are taking Rebif Be alert to any changes in mood or symptoms. Notify your doctor of any new symptoms or worsening symptoms.The liver can be damaged by interferon beta-1a. If you experience symptoms like nausea, fatigue, confusion, easy bleeding or bruising, dark urine or clay-colored stool, or yellowing skin or eyes, call your doctor.Tell your doctor before using Rebif if you're allergic to any medications, have a thyroid condition, epilepsy, or another seizure disorder. Also, tell them if they are suffering from heart disease (angina), chest pain, congestive cardiac failure, a heart rhythm problem, or a past history of depression.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to human albumin, natural or recombinant Interferon Beta, or either of these two substances, then you should not take Rebif.

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

  • Mental illness, suicidal thoughts, or depression;
  • Liver disease
  • Blood clots or bleeding problems;
  • Low blood cell count
  • Heart disease
  • A thyroid disorder
  • A latex allergy;
  • An autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus;
  • A seizure;
  • If you are a heavy drinker of alcohol,

Some brands of interferon beta-1a may contain human plasma that has been donated and could contain viruses or infectious agents. Plasma donated is treated and tested to reduce the chance of contamination. However, there is still some risk that it may transmit disease. You should ask your doctor if there are any risks.Inform your doctor of any pregnancy or breastfeeding plans.Anyone younger than 18 is not allowed to use Interferon beta-1a.

How to take Rebif?

Follow the instructions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Read all the instructions and directions that come with your prescription. Sometimes your doctor will change the dose.Rebif is administered by injection. You may be taught how to use the medicine by your healthcare provider.Please read and follow all instructions for use that come with your medication. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you don't understand.Rebif is usually injected into the skin three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), at the same dose on each day.Your healthcare provider will tell you where to inject the medicine. Each time you administer an injection, use a new location. Don't inject in the same spot twice.Check for redness or swelling in the area of your injection about 2 hours after you have given it. If you notice a reaction to the skin that doesn't go away in a few days, call your doctor.

You may experience flu-like symptoms when first using this medicine. Other medications may be prescribed to prevent these symptoms. Continue to take these medications as prescribed by your doctor.Medical tests will be required frequently.Each autoinjector or syringe prefilled is only for one-time use. After one use, throw it out, even if the medicine is still inside.Keep this medicine in your refrigerator. Do not freeze, and protect from light.

Store Rebif at room temperature for a few hours, protected from light.

  • The Rebif autoinjector or prefilled syringe should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 30 days.

Do not freeze. Do not freeze.Each syringe and autoinjector are only for one-time use. After one use, throw it out, even if the medicine is still inside.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:

Subcutaneously, 22 mcg (or 44 mcg) three times per week.
Weeks 1 and 2: 4.4 mg 3 times per week subcutaneously
Weeks 3 and 4: 11 mg 3 times per week subcutaneously
Weeks 5+: 22 mcg 3 times per week subcutaneously
Weeks 1 and 2: 8.8 mg, 3 times per week, subcutaneously
Weeks 3 and 4: 22 mg 3 times per week subcutaneously
Weeks 5+: 44 mcg 3 times per week subcutaneously

Use: To treat patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis in order to reduce the number of exacerbations and slow down the accumulation of disability. Patients with multiple sclerosis who have shown efficacy include those with a first clinical episode and MRI features that are consistent with multiple sclerosis.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you miss a dosage, call your doctor to get instructions.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

Do not inject this medicine into red, bruised, or irritated skin.

Interaction with other drug

Interferon beta-1a 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 currently taking and those that you will begin or stop using.