There are three Interferon beta medications used in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. These medications work to slow the progression of MS, reducing legions and delaying the onset of some types of disability.
Rebif is one of these medications. Rebif is delivered through subcutaneous injection three times per week. These injections must be spaced at least 48 hours apart. . Many people take them on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before bed so they don’t have to worry about taking injections during the weekend.
Rebif is supplied in pre measured syringes with an auto injector. Auto injectors look much like a ballpoint pen, and are designed to deliver the medication to the correct spot under the skin every time. You place the auto injector against your skin where you want to give the injection and push a button.
The side effects of Rebif are similar to those of all the Interferon Beta medications.
Depression and suicidal ideation are common. Those taking Rebif should monitor their moods closely and keep a diary of their feelings to help ensure depression is recognized and treated. Before starting Rebif, tell your doctor if you have ever been treated for or experienced any type of mental illness, including mild depression. Past bouts with depression can increase risk of this side effect.
It is important that patients taking Rebif get regular blood tests to check liver function. Liver failure is a serious side effect of this medication. If you notice any yellowing of your eyes or skin, or if you start to bruise easily while taking this medication, discontinue shots and call your doctor immediately.
Most people who take Rebif experience flu like symptoms within several hours of taking their shot. Fever, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches, and pain usually subside within two months of starting therapy.
Rebif can cause white or red blood cell counts to drop suddenly and unexpectedly. Your doctor may order frequent blood tests to screen for this.
As with any medication delivered by injection there is a possibility of localized injection site redness, soreness and pain. It is suggested to apply ice to the injection site before and after giving the shot.
Education is important when choosing your Multiple Sclerosis medication. Research all available options and discuss with your doctor in order to choose the therapy right for you.