Administration Route: Injection
Injection site: SC
Frequency: Three times a week
TGA approval date: Jan 2000
PBS listed: Yes
Mechanism of action Immunomodulation which is unclear including inhibition of T-cell activation and proliferation; apoptosis of autoreactive T cells; induction of regulatory T cells; inhibition of leukocyte migration across the blood-brain barrier; cytokine modulation; and potential antiviral activity.
%reduction in relapse rate, impact of progression 34% RRR in annual relapes rate,43% RRR for new Gad Lesions, 63% RRR new T2 lesions, 21% RRR Brain atrophy, 25% RRR disability
Pregnancy Category D
Safe in Pregnancy Suspected to have caused or may be expected to cause, an increased incidence of human fetal malformations or irreversible damage. These drugs may also have adverse pharmacological effects.
Breastfeeding (information predominatly from  LACTMED database) The levels of interferon beta-1a in breastmilk are minuscule. In addition, because interferon is poorly absorbed orally, it is not likely to reach the bloodstream of the infant. A small number of nursing mothers receiving interferon beta-1a while partially breastfeeding their infants and one woman exclusively breastfed her infant while taking interferon beta-1b and reported no adverse effects.
Monitoring requirements Full Blood count, Liver function test (6–12 monthly)
Potential side effects (not a comprehensive list) Injection site reaction. Flu like symptoms, depression, thyroid dysfunction and liver enzyme abnormalities.
Manufacturer Merck Serono
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