interferon beta-1b (Betaseron, Extavia)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Interferon beta-1b is a protein produced by recombinant DNA technology using E. coli bacteria into which the human interferon beta genes have been introduced. It is used for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). Interferon beta has antiviral properties and plays a role in regulating the immune response. The exact mechanism by which interferon beta-1b works in the body to treat MS is not known. Interferon beta-1b does not cure MS. Rather, it helps to decrease the number of flare-ups and slows the occurrence of some of the physical disability that commonly occurs in the disease.
  • Interferon beta-1b was approved by the FDA in July, 1993.

Is INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?


What are the uses for INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?

Interferon beta-1b is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. It reduces the occurrence of MS flares.

What are the side effects of INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

What is the dosage for INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?

  • The recommended dose is 0.25 mg every other day.
  • Treatment is started at 0.0625 mg (0.25 mL) every other day, and increased over a six-week period to reach the target dose of 0.25 mg every other day.

Which drugs or supplements interact with INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?

Combining interferon beta-1b with zidovudine (Retrovir) may increase blood levels of zidovudine and the risk of bone marrow suppression.

Is INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Use of interferon beta-1b has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Due to the lack of conclusive safety data, interferon beta-1b should be used in pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
  • It is not known if interferon beta-1b is excreted in breast milk. As many drugs enter breast milk and can potentially cause harm to the nursing infant, interferon beta-1b should be used cautiously in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION?

What preparations of INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION are available?

Powder for injection (single use vial): 0.3 mg/vial

How should I keep INTERFERON BETA 1-B-INJECTION stored?

  • Preferably interferon beta-1b should be stored at room temperature, 68 F to 77 F (20 C to 25 C).
  • It may be stored at 59 F to 86 F (15 C to 30 C) for up to 3 months.
  • After dilution, it should be used immediately or refrigerated and used within 3 hours.


Interferon beta-1b injection (Betaseron, Extavia) is a drug prescribed to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. It also reduces MS flares. Side Effects, drug interactions, recommended dosages, storage information, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to using any medication.

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