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Betaseron (Generic Interferon Beta-1b Injection)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Patients with relapsing-remitting (a type of multiple sclerosis disease where symptoms occasionally flare up) multiple sclerosis can utilise interferon beta-1b injection to lessen symptom bouts (MS, a disease in which the nerves do not function properly and patients may experience weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control). Immunomodulators are a family of drugs that includes interferon beta-1b. The precise mechanism by which interferon beta-1b treats MS is unknown.

How should this medicine be used?

As a powder to be dissolved in liquid and injected subcutaneously, interferon beta-1b injection is available (just under the skin). Every other day is normally when it is injected. Every time you administer an injection of interferon beta-1b, do it around the same time of day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Follow the injection instructions for interferon beta-1b exactly. Never inject more, less, or more frequently than directed by your doctor. Your doctor will likely begin injecting you with interferon beta-1b at a low dose and progressively increase it.

Your doctor’s office will administer your first dosage of interferon beta-1b to you. After that, you can administer interferon beta-1b injections yourself or with the help of a friend or relative. Read the enclosed written instructions before using interferon beta-1b for the first time. To learn how to inject a medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist to demonstrate it to you or the person doing the injecting.

Never share or re-use syringes, needles, or prescription vials. Toss discarded medicine vials in the garbage along with used needles and syringes in a puncture-resistant container. How to get rid of the puncture-resistant container should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist.

One vial of interferon beta-1b should only be mixed at a time. The drug should be mixed shortly before being injected. The drug can, however, be prepared ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator, and used within three hours.

Except for the region close to your navel (belly button) and waistline, you can inject interferon beta-1b anyplace on your abdomen, buttocks, back of your upper arms, or thighs. If you are really skinny, only inject into your thigh or arm’s outer surface. To find out exactly where you can inject, consult the diagram in the manufacturer’s patient information. Every time you inject a drug, choose a different location. Never provide medication to skin that is inflamed, bruised, erythematous, infected, or scarred.

Every time you need a refill on your interferon beta-1b prescription as well as when you start treatment, your doctor or pharmacist will provide you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving interferon beta-1b injection,

  • If you have any allergies, including to human albumin, mannitol, or any of the other ingredients in interferon beta-1b injection, Avonex, Plegridy, Rebif, other interferon beta drugs, or any other medications, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you regularly consume large amounts of alcohol, have ever had anaemia (low red or white blood cells), blood issues like bleeding or easy bruising, seizures, mental illnesses like depression, particularly if you have ever considered or attempted suicide, heart failure, or liver or heart disease.
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you fall pregnant while receiving an injection of interferon beta-1b.
  • In order to consume alcohol safely while receiving an injection of interferon beta-1b, see your doctor. Interferon beta-1b adverse effects can be exacerbated by alcohol.
  • You should be aware that following your injection, you can experience flu-like symptoms as headache, fever, chills, sweating, muscle pains, and fatigue. To treat these symptoms, your doctor could advise you to take an over-the-counter painkiller and fever reducer. If you are having trouble controlling these symptoms or they worsen, consult your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Inject your next dose of interferon beta-1b as soon as you remember or are able to do so if you miss a dose. The following injection should be administered roughly 48 hours (2 days) after the first one. Do not administer interferon beta-1b injection on consecutive days. To make up for a missing dose, avoid injecting a second dose. If you forget to take a dose and have concerns, call your doctor.

What side effects can this medication cause?

The injection of interferon beta-1b could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Spotting or bleeding in the cervix between menstrual cycles
  • Tense muscles
  • Weakness
  • Alterations in sex drive or capacity (in men)
  • Alterations in coordination

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away or seek emergency care if you have any of these symptoms or any of the symptoms detailed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section:

  • At the injection site, there may be bruising, discomfort, redness, swelling, or tenderness.
  • Skin darkening or discharge where an injection was made
  • Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
  • Dark faeces
  • Extreme fatigue
  • White stool
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Significant bruising or bleeding
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Considering, planning, or attempting to injure or kill oneself
  • Anxiety
  • Increasing or fresh depression
  • Violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Seeing or hearing things or voices that are not there
  • Acting without consideration
  • Seizures
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Rapid or unusual heartbeat
  • Stiffness or pain in the chest
  • Light skin
  • Increased frequency of urination, particularly during night
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs, as well as of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, and throat
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Red, bloody, or diarrheal faeces
  • Abdominal pain
  • Slow or challenging speech
  • Skin rash with purple spots or pinpoints
  • Urinary incontinence or blood in the pee

Other negative effects from interferon beta-1b injection are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Interferon beta-1b powder vials should be kept at normal temperature, away from sources of extreme heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Vials containing the ready interferon beta-1b solution may, if required, be kept in the fridge for up to three hours following mixing. Keep interferon beta-1b from freezing.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to the injection of interferon beta-1b, your doctor will request a few lab tests.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Betaseron®
  • Extavia®
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