interferon beta 1a - injection, Avonex (cont.)

HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using interferon beta 1A and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Inject this medicine usually once a week into a muscle or as directed by your doctor. Give the shot in the evening before bedtime to minimize side effects.If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. The solution is normally clear or slightly yellow in color. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.To increase comfort, take this medication out of the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature for about 30 minutes before injecting. Carefully mix the powder with the liquid provided as directed. Gently swirl the vial of medication. Do not shake it.The thigh and upper arm muscles are recommended sites for the shot. Use a different spot each week. Do not inject into skin that is irritated or infected.Use this medicine regularly as directed in order to get the most benefit. Use it at the same time each week. Do not change the dose or how often you use this medication without your doctor's approval.Inform your doctor if your condition worsens.

SIDE EFFECTS: Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Flu-like symptoms such as headache, fatigue, fever, chills, and muscle aches may occur when you first start this medication. These symptoms usually last about a day after the shot and improve or go away after a few months of continued use. You can minimize these side effects by injecting this medicine at bedtime and using fever reducers/pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen before each dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, thoughts of suicide, new or worsening psychiatric symptoms), hair loss, vision changes, persistent fatigue, numbness/tingling/swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, muscle weakness, trouble breathing, sudden weight gain, gradual change in weight (without a change in diet or exercise), cold or heat intolerance, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bleeding or bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), yellowing eyes or skin, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine.Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, seizures.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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