AVONEX Ressources

Application Information

This drug has been submitted to the FDA under the reference 103628/001.

Names and composition

"AVONEX" is the commercial name of a drug composed of INTERFERON BETA-1A.
It belongs to the class Immunomodulators and is used in Multiple sclerosis (Central Nervous System)

Answered questions

Multiple sclerosis and avonex and side effects?
p.s.: there is no side effects for me (from the begining), why? Asked by Launa Koppy 3 months ago.

Avonex and the other MS disease modifying drugs affect people differently. Some never have any side effects, whereas others have side effects. Some have side effects with Betaseron, but not with Avonex, some have side effects with Avonex, but not with Betaseron. Usually side effects will diminish and more or less disappear all together within the first 6 months of taking the medicine. In a few cases the side effects do not disappear. If a person doesn't have any symptoms when taking Avonex, it simply means that he/she is one of the lucky ones who doesn't experience side effects. Answered by Tempie Santa 3 months ago.

I've used both betaseron and avonex and had side effects with each but know fellow MS suffers which have no side effects. For me the side effects of avonex were less severe than betaseron. My immediate side effects with avonex were mitigated by taking a couple of 6 hour Tylenol tablets at the time of the injection. I no longer use either on the advice of my GI doctor who believes that my severe pancreatits problems were caused by the products. Answered by Franklyn Arakaki 3 months ago.

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most debilitating and discouraging conditions anyone can have. Waking up day after day knowing you are stricken with MS that gradually drags you, healthy young person, toward chronic illness and maybe shorter life. Suddenly you no longer expect to enjoy many of life's greatest experiences. The inside story on Dr. Gary remarkable Multiple Sclerosis cure Read on to discover what really causes your multiple sclerosis! Answered by Emerson Pieretti 3 months ago.

common side effects from AVONEX go away with time Answered by Tommie Connard 3 months ago.


Does Avonex make people vomit or faint?
I take Avonex once a week. I have been on this medication since March of 2007. I take my shot every Friday night. Today, I had a dreadful situation in a store wherein I had to vomit. I then fainted very briefly. Does anyone know why this happened to me??? M.S. by and large, has not created any horrific side... Asked by Donnetta Hatcherson 3 months ago.

I take Avonex once a week. I have been on this medication since March of 2007. I take my shot every Friday night. Today, I had a dreadful situation in a store wherein I had to vomit. I then fainted very briefly. Does anyone know why this happened to me??? M.S. by and large, has not created any horrific side effects in my life. And this was a new one. Answered by Raelene Cestero 3 months ago.

Avonex does tend to cause flu like symptoms, but if you don't usually have them after your weekly injections, I think there must be another cause. I know with my MS, I get bouts of vertigo, but they usually come on early hours of the AM..did you possibly skip a meal or get dehydrated? maybe something just upset your tummy. I don't think I would worry about it unless it continues.. Good luck with the MS, glad it's been mild ! Answered by Mitsuko Ve 3 months ago.

nausea and flu like symptoms are both common symptoms of taking avonex. Answered by Myles Frymark 3 months ago.

nausea and vomiting is a side effect Answered by Malcolm Helling 3 months ago.


Rebif, Copaxone or Avonex for MS - pluses and minuses?
I have a friend who was diagnosed today with MS. Fortunately, it was caught early. She's trying to decide between Avonex, Copaxone and Rebif. Does anyone have any recommendations, pluses or minuses? Side effects you've felt for any of them? Asked by Nila Torros 3 months ago.

I picked Avonex. Advantages: - once weekly injections - intramuscular injections usually causes less discomfort - they have a travel friendly version that's not so temperature sensitive - there is a much lower risk of developing anti-bodies against Avonex Disadvantages: - side effects are more common and although they usually disappear within 6 months of medicating, your friend could be one of the unlucky ones, like me, where they do not disappear. There are weeks where I have next to no side effects, but they are the exception. Basically, I feel like I'm coming down with the flu once a week (shivers, fever, bone-ache, headache, joint ache). - The idea of injecting intramuscular and the length of the needle can be off-putting for some. - dosage cannot be adjusted Answered by Lita Ferrence 3 months ago.

Copaxone has the least potential side effects, by far. I was on it for a whole year. Admittedly it didn't work that well for me but the statistical research is clear that it does work for more people than ones who it doesn't work for. I did not have one side effect during the course of the year aside from very minor skin effects which were all gone within 12 hours of injection. Good luck with whatever your friend decides to go on and thanks for being there for him, already. It's the greatest gift you can give your friend in this situation -- your friendship. Answered by Cortney Monckton 3 months ago.


I am a new MS patient.This week is my 3rd Avonex shot. When do I see any results?
I was diagnosed 4 months ago. I'm taking 15 Mcg Avonex Injection but I 'm feeling pretty bad. My doctor will cut the dosage in half until I get use to the medication. Asked by Isaias Carretino 3 months ago.

You don't see any results. Taking Avonex is like wearing your seat belt in your car. If you drive a car and don't wear a seat belt, you might be in an accident and get hurt - or you might not be in an accident. If you have MS and don't take treatment, you might have more frequent or more severe exacerbations - or you might not. This might be the hardest part of MS - you just don't know. I was diagnosed in 1995 but didn't start treatment until 2000. The fact that your DR. has put you on Meds so soon after your diagnosis might be an indication that the Dr sees something you can't. Don't give up on Avonex just because you feel lousy. The side effects do get less severe over time, I promise. The drug is offered in pre-mixed or you mix it. I started with the kind I mixed and then switched to pre-mixed thinking it would be better. Wrong! My husband hated the pre-filled syringes because it felt like he had to push the plunger really hard. And my side effects started all over again when I switched, and then AGAIN when I switched back. Right now, if I sleep through the night and don't wake up during the fever, I'm really OK after a shower and a cup of coffee the next morning. Don't forget to pre-medicate. Some say Tylenol, some say Advil. Try both and see what works for you. Keep a big jug of ice water (with a lid!!) by your bed for when you wake up thinking you could drink a gallon. I found it best to have water waiting for me handy because I'd wake up dying of thirst and not really be able to figure out how to go about taking care of it... I would say to you "Don't let MS become who you are" or "You might have MS, but it doesn't have you" but, I won't say those things because I would have wanted to slap the person who said them to me. But, don't let this become an all-encompassing thing that rules all your decisions. You are still the same person you were 5 months ago (before you knew) and you can still do the same type things you did then - you just might want to be a little more careful if balance issues are a problem, and be wary of extreme heat. For good literature, reaources, and connections, contact your local chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. They can hook you up. Answered by Santana Slepski 3 months ago.

Hi. I have MS, got diagnosed last August, and I take Avonex also. You asked when will you see results? MS drugs are kind of weird this way because, you arent going to really see any results. They unfortunately wont help with your symptoms, all they do is slow down disease progression, which is something you arent going to be able to FEEL. When you go in a year or two for a follow up MRI, that is how you can see the Avonex is working for you because it should decrease the active lesions in your brain and work to prevent new ones. Avonex is a disease modifying drug, all it can do is modify the course of your MS. Your exacerbations should be fewer and farther between, that is a result of taking Avonex. I know these shots suck, I hate them, but they are our best hope to making the best of our futures. And being on Avonex doesnt mean you wont have any exacerbations in the future either, you will. We all will. We just have to put our faith in that the Avonex is making us have FEWER exacerbations. I have been on Avonex for 9 months, they still make me feel bad. You have to do some experiementing with when to take your shot and stick with it. Here is what I do, as long as I stick to this plan my Avonex day is better. 6pm - take shot out of fridge and take 2 tylenol. 9pm - take shot in upper arm (I switch arms each week), and take 2 more tylenol. 11pm - go to bed. I try to sleep till 11am-noon the next day. And I take 2 moreTylenols when I wake up. Usually by around 3pm I am feeling back to normal. You just have to do some experimenting with what works best for you. It took me a while to find the routine that worked best for me. And please dont get discouraged with the Avonex not making you feel better, that isnt what it was designed to do. Preventing future relapses and slowing down disease progression is the most important thing. I hope you dont ever get discouraged and stop taking it. Not even for a week. That needle is our future and as much as it sucks and we hate it, its the best thing for us! I hope you can find a routine that works for you. :) Answered by Shanna Hasgill 3 months ago.


What happens to avonex (interferon beta-1a) if at room temperature for 24 hours?
Asked by Hunter Hohlfeld 3 months ago.

i take avonex. out of refrigeration for 24 hours? it is totally useless and a waste of $500.00. avonex is supposed to be refrigerated and only out of the fridge long enough to warm to body temp for injection. the longest mine has ever been out of refrigeration was 4 hours when our power went out, but i had it in a cooler on ice. after 12 hours of no refrigeration, again, it is useless and a waste of $500.00 for 1 shot. but, there are 2 kinds of avonex, i use the prefilled syringe. there is also the kind that has to be mixed. i assume that you are talking about the prefilled syringe. Answered by Iona Smerkar 3 months ago.

I have taken Betaseron for years and a couple of years ago they finally developed a type that doesn't require refrigeration. It sure makes traveling, etc easier. Maybe the Avonex folks will soon develop a type not requiring refrigeration - you might want to contact them and ask about this. After all they are both interferons so it sounds likely. Good Luck. Answered by Dominique Loretto 3 months ago.

the presyringed type is less stable. Therefore the potency has been reduced. The precise amount of reduction of the potency depends on the maximum temperature obtained. You should by the lyophilized stuff, or get a generator Answered by Reita Chargualaf 3 months ago.


For people with multiple sclerosis, i was on avonex for almost 18 months, worst 18 months of my life...?
im not looking for "cut and paste" answers. i can do my own research for copaxone, tyvm. i am asking for answers from people that are taking copaxone now, for the side effects that they are experiencing. Asked by Latia Haddow 3 months ago.

Hi. So sorry you've had trouble with Avonex. I've been on Copaxone for over 10 years and have found it works the best for me. Many people who don't do well with one of the Interferon drugs do much better with Copaxone, myself included. Copaxone takes time to build up in one's system, so keep that in mind. The longer one takes it, the less severe the reaction and the medication seems to work better. It is injected subcutaneously (between the fat layer just under the skin and the muscles beneath) once a day. The normal side effects are redness at injection site, lumps, bruising and often itching (even after a day or two afterward the injection). I've had and sometimes still do have those same reactions, but they aren't bad. In the beginning, they sort of were, but with an ice pack over the injection site for a few minutes and some anti-itch cream, the side effects are manageable. Another rare side effect is an IPIR (Initial Post Injection Reaction). They are rare, but can happen. With an IPIR, a person suddenly finds breathing difficult and the face red due to a rush of blood. That has happened to me a few times, but my best guess is that I accidentally hit a blood vessel rather than a fatty area I should have. No one knows exactly why, though. Years ago when Copaxone was approved, the company started an on line support system so that others taking Copaxone could post questions and help support each other. That website was www.mswatch.com. Well, last October, a message was posted that the discussion part of the website would be closed. Well, because so many people (myself included) appreciated the knowledge and support of the group, a new website was created thanks to a few clever fellow members. It is called msrefugees.com. I really suggest you go there. There is so much valuable info. there. You can ask others what they think of Copaxone. Any MS person can join, or anyone that just wants to learn about MS. There is an Avonex section there, too. Good luck! Answered by Vashti Yankovich 3 months ago.

Hi. I have been on Copaxone for nine years. (Actually I'm off right now because I'm pregnant.) I do great on Copaxone. I chose Copaxone for myself because I did independent research when I was diagnosed with MS. I didn't like the fact that the interferons all had the possibility of giving a person "flu-like" symptoms. I still work full-time and have two (almost three) children. I figured the every day schedule of Copaxone was manageable if I wasn't going to spend my only two days off per week feeling miserable. Plus, I like that Copaxone did not have any liver function side effects. Although some people believe it takes Copaxone longer to build up in the body, my neurologist doesn't believe that. And it took about 6 weeks for me to feel any real difference but I noticed a difference in my fatigue level at that point. I almost always get a red bump at my injection site. I am fair-skinned and I have always gotten them from day one, although not always when I do the injection in my belly area. I make sure to rotate sites. I also use an auto-inject and I had the Copaxone nurse make sure it was set to the appropriate settings for me. Sometimes people will ice an area prior to the injection. I stopped doing it because I got so used to the feeling of the injection, it doesn't bother me any longer. I do my injection at bed time. It's a little sting for me, sometimes it itches right afterward -- nothing a little Benadryl stick can't help -- and I go to sleep. I will then have a red bump for about three days. I've only had the "flushing" experience once, in the beginning nine years ago. I was more nervous then doing the shots so I've always wondered if that contributed. I hit a big vein once in my thigh but admittedly, I went beyond the acceptable range of injection site area on my leg. (Too high up.) It was really painful but it was because I ventured too far north. Once in a while, I take a "vacation". I will just skip the injection. Although the injection is just a part of my nighttime routine and I rarely think twice about it anymore, doing it every day does get old. As long as it's only once in a while my doctor said it was okay to do it. Would I trade the red bumps? No, I've dediced I can handle it. Copaxone has worked for me. The red bumps are irritating -- yes, very much so -- but a small price to pay to keep disability at bay for as long as possible. Good luck -- I know was a good feeling it can be when you find a disease modifying treatment that works for you. Answered by Enoch Conrad 3 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear about the Avonex reactions. The flu-like symptoms are normal with Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif, because that's your body's normal reaction to interferon medications. The medicine your doctor wants you to start is "Copaxone" and you can read more about it at www.copaxone.com, or at the National MS Society's website, www.nmss.org. Copaxone is different from the other treatments in that it is not an interferon, but a synthetic which mimics myelin in protein structure. When T-cells bind with myelin, they create an inflammatory agent, but when T-cells bind with the active ingredients in Copaxone, they create an anti-inflammatory agent. Since it's not an interferon, it does not produce the flu-like symptoms that the others do. It is a sub-cutaneous injection, unlike Avonex, which is an IM (intra-muscular) injection. You can use an auto-injector with Copaxone, since the needle is smaller, thinner, and only penetrates about 6 mm into the fat layer underneath the skin. Side effects are generally mild, and usually consist of swelling at the injection site, which can be managed by icing the area. The swelling is normal, and is a sign that the medication is working as designed (better to have swelling in your arm, leg, hip, or belly than in your brain!). On rare occasions, if the medication enters a capillary or vein, the swelling will take place in your bloodstream, and you'll have a reaction that feels like a heart attack (tightening in the chest, constricted breathing, etc). The reaction is very temporary and lasts less than 5 minutes total. Although it is scary when it happens, especially the first time, it is good to know that it is temporary and passes very quickly. Beyond that, there really aren't other reactions from Copaxone. I've been on it for over a year now, and I love it. I have not had a relapse since I started (knock on wood), and I'm still going strong. Good luck with your therapy! CJ Answered by Maxine Timenez 3 months ago.

I'm curious what your MS is like for you. Why Copaxone? I was on Avonex for 7 years. The flu symptoms subsided with time. But the mental anguish of the injection was horrible. It became more and more difficult to jab myself with that gigantic needle! I cannot answer your question about Copaxone, but I am suggesting asking your doctor about Rebif. I was so happy when I switched. The injections are easy, and only 3x a week. The medicine stays in your system for the full week instead of tapering off like the Avonex. Plus, I have not had any adverse reactions. No flu-like symptoms. Very little site reaction (usually only on my stomach). Good luck to you! Answered by Noelia Racitano 3 months ago.

I use copaxone ,been taking for 6 years now,works very good imo, when taken daily remove about 30 minutes from refrigerator and take at room temp,helps to reduce any slight burning at injection site,you might get a slight chest breathing tightness but very rare.Helps alot in hot weather to subside MS symptoms,I work in a Hot location and without copaxone wouldn' t make thru many summer days,i recommend doing light daily walking program ,if have a treadmill is excellent ,pace your self,exercise seems to benefit your body w/copaxone ,since taking I have not had any major exaberations(relapses) ,i had 2 minor flare ups,I beleive has helped slow down progressive of MS to have a fairly normal life,but key is pace yourself,know your limitations of what you can do & cannot do,key is more good days than bad days ,I would highly recommend Copaxone ,but it agrees with me ,everyone is different,good luck on your decision. Answered by Victorina Marolt 3 months ago.

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most debilitating and discouraging conditions anyone can have. Waking up day after day knowing you are stricken with MS that gradually drags you, healthy young person, toward chronic illness and maybe shorter life. Suddenly you no longer expect to enjoy many of life's greatest experiences. The inside story on Dr. Gary remarkable Multiple Sclerosis cure Read on to discover what really causes your multiple sclerosis! Answered by Meta Whittingham 3 months ago.


I have been on Avonex for about 6 months I got pregnant being on the medience?? Only about weeks the off??
Will I be okay!! Asked by Trang Samons 3 months ago.

Q: Can I take AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a) if I am planning to become pregnant? A: You should not take AVONEX if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The reproductive toxicity of AVONEX has not been studied in humans, and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies of interferons in pregnant women. If you become pregnant while taking AVONEX, you should stop using AVONEX immediately and call your doctor. For more information call the AVONEX Pregnancy Registry toll-free at 1-800-811-0104 Answered by Gayle Mishar 3 months ago.

Ask your OB, but it is rare that you have any long lasting effects from a medication to your baby, I took xanex for almost 4 weeks, before I knew I was pregnant, and my daughter is fine. But your OB will know, tell him/her you are worried. Answered by Jessie Henderickson 3 months ago.


MRI showed multiple plugs in my brain and VEP had problems but i refused injection{avonex} .is it dangrous for?
i had no problem in these last 2yrs.i was injecting avonex weekly for 18months till 2.5yrs ago.i had a baby who is under breast feeding and i like to continue it till 2yrs. Asked by Verlene Apaez 3 months ago.

ahra, Avonex is used too decrease the number of flare-ups of M.S. the sooner you can get back on the shot the better for your M.S. but you have to decied for yourself whats best for you and your baby, do you have less flare-ups on the shots? Are you able to care for your baby w/o the shots and I know the shots have a lot of bad side effects on it's own. It's your decision alone, I'm sorry that you have to go thru this and will keep you in my Prayers. Good Luck Rita If you need too click on my picture and you can get straight to me . Answered by Rosanne Rangel 3 months ago.


Avonex users?!?! How long did it take before you started to notice the difference?
I am taking Avonex for my MS. I was wondering when you may start to notice the "attacks" not coming back as much or leaving. It seems like for me the "attacks" have come back worse and have not stopped. I would like to know other patients experience with Avonex. I am the only one in my area... Asked by Tanner Hansberry 3 months ago.

I am taking Avonex for my MS. I was wondering when you may start to notice the "attacks" not coming back as much or leaving. It seems like for me the "attacks" have come back worse and have not stopped. I would like to know other patients experience with Avonex. I am the only one in my area and the support group that takes Avonex. So I have no one to share stories with. All real opinions would be nice and serious answers only please. Answered by Noel Penanegra 3 months ago.

I've been taking Avonex for 7 years, but I started right after my first attack and have had just 3 small attacks since then, so I cannot say when or if the Avonex began to work. I am, however, doing extremely well for someone who has had MS for 7 years and both the neurologists I've had are convinced it's down to me starting early on Avonex. The problem for me is the side effects. I am one of the few where they just didn't go away after 6 months on the other hand, Avonex is the medicine with the lowest anti-body risk. Usually they tell you to give it a few months to see if the medication is working, but if you are having many completely new attacks, I would suggest that you contact your neurologist. Sometimes one medication will not work for a patient whereas another one will - or you might need to have a higher dosage than normal, which you cannot get with Avonex. If your attacks are very bad, Tysabri could be an option for you. Answered by Inga Horal 3 months ago.


What is the difference between the MS drugs Avonex and Copaxone?
My son has been taking Avonex for his MS for 3 years now. He has had 3 episodes where he has had to be admitted to the hospital for IV therapy. I noticed that a couple of yahoo members are taking Copaxone and have been on it for 4 years symptom-free. I was wondering if maybe my son should change medications. ... Asked by Leeanne Britz 3 months ago.

My son has been taking Avonex for his MS for 3 years now. He has had 3 episodes where he has had to be admitted to the hospital for IV therapy. I noticed that a couple of yahoo members are taking Copaxone and have been on it for 4 years symptom-free. I was wondering if maybe my son should change medications. Another reason for changing is this - after each injection, he gets very ill with a 104 degree fever and flu like symptoms, which last for about 24 hours. We have talked to his doctor about this and he said some people just get sick after their injections. He tried to give him 2 or 3 different medicatoins, hoping they would help with the sick feeling, but none of them worked. Has anyone on the Copaxone ever gotten sick after their injections? I would appreciate everyone who has been on Avonex or Copaxone helping me. My son really needs the help. Answered by Reuben Barbuto 3 months ago.

The main difference between Avonex (interferon beta-1a) and Copaxone (glatiramer acetate for injection) is that Avonex was designed to treat a first MS attack, to slow the accumulation of physical disability and to decrease the clinical worsening in those patients with relapsing forms of MS. Copaxone was designed to reduce the frequency of relapse in those patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The two drugs share many of the same common adverse reactions - nausea, diarrhea, abdominal upset to name three. Fever is a common adverse effect of Avenox and a less common adverse reaction to Copaxone. Consider that. Speak to his doctor about the advisability of changing. Answered by Rosemarie Mcmorris 3 months ago.

My husband and his brother both have MS. They both use Copaxone. My husband hasn't had a flare in over a year, his brother has. Everyone reacts differently to different drugs. It's something that should be discussed with the neuro. Answered by Meg Vanderwerf 3 months ago.

Please see the web pages for more details on Interferon beta-1a (generic name) Avonex (brand name), Glatiramer (generic name) Copaxone (brand name). Interferon beta-1a is a drug in the interferon family used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). It is produced by mammalian cells while Interferon beta-1b is produced in modified E. coli. Interferons have been shown to have about a 30–35% reduction in the rate of MS relapses, and to slow the progression of disability in MS patients. None of the products on the market is a cure, but patients today who start early on Interferons may beneficially alter the natural course of the disease. Glatiramer is used to reduce episodes of symptoms in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Glatiramer is in a class of medications called immunomodulators. It works by stopping the body from damaging its own nerve cells (myelin). A recent study by the Department of Neurology at The University of Texas Health Science Center argues that a double-blind three year study failed to demonstrate a treatment effect of Glatiramer acetate on Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Answered by Arianna Harcum 3 months ago.

Mrs.=misses:married Ms.=miss: unmarried or anonymous Answered by Lyda Fullford 3 months ago.


Forms

ApplId/ProductId Drug name Active ingredient Form Strenght
103628/001 AVONEX INTERFERON BETA-1A /VIAL 30UG per ML

Similar Active Ingredient

ApplId/ProductId Drug name Active ingredient Form Strenght
103628/001 AVONEX INTERFERON BETA-1A /VIAL 30UG per ML
103780/001 REBIF INTERFERON BETA-1A /SYRINGE 22UG per 0.5ML
103780/002 REBIF INTERFERON BETA-1A /SYRINGE 44UG per 0.5ML

Manufacturers

Manufacturer name
Biogen Idec

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