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Chemical Name: INTERFERON BETA 1a (in-ter-FEER-on BAY-tah)
Common Uses of Avonex
This medicine is an interferon used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Possible Avonex Side Effects
Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, diarrhea, muscle ache, dizziness, or weakness. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience chest pain, swelling of the ankles or feet, sudden weight gain, mental or mood changes including depression, seizures, signs of infection, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, yellowing eyes or skin, extreme fatigue or weakness, cold or heat intolerance, or gradual change in weight (without a change in diet or exercise). An allergic reaction to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.General Cautions
Keep all doctor and laboratory appointments while you are taking this medicine. Laboratory and/or medical tests such as complete blood counts, liver function tests, or thyroid tests may be done to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Contact your doctor for more information about these tests. The cap of the pre-filled syringe contains latex. If you have had an allergic reaction to latex contact your doctor before using this medicine. Some patients using interferon products may become depressed or have thoughts of hurting themselves. If you feel depressed or have these thoughts, contact your doctor immediately. This medicine commonly causes flu-like symptoms. Using this medicine at night may lessen these symptoms. Taking a pain or fever-reducing medicine such as acetaminophen may help with these symptoms. Before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This medicine may cause harm to the human fetus. If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is unknown if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine.
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