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Avonex falls under the class of cytokines in the interferon group, which are protein molecules that are responsible for cell signaling and help fight infection in the body. Avonex is mainly used in slowing the progress of multiple sclerosis, including in those patients that relapses. Avonex will not cure multiple sclerosis, as there is no known cure for this disease. Available only in injectable form, Avonex is manufactured by Biogen and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 1996.
The active ingredient of Avonex is Interferon beta 1A. These protein molecules have anti-inflammatory properties, where they limit the number of inflammatory cells crossing the blood brain barrier. They also stimulate the secretion of the nerve growth factor. This nerve growth factor enhances nerve growth, protection, and maturation.
Avonex is known by its generic name, interferon beta-1a. Other brand names of this medication include Rebif.
Use your medication as directed by your healthcare professional. Avonex can be taken with or without food and can only be administered intramuscularly.
These may not be all the effects of Avonex. Consult your physician for further information
Using Avonex with certain drugs can either potentiate their effects in the body or nullify them. Therefore, you should know the medicines you take and always remember to tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you are prescribed new medicine. However, it is not recommended to use Avonex with ethanol, deferiprone, tinazidine, and natalizumab, as it may have life threatening reactions.
Not all the drugs that interact with Avonex are listed above.
If you miss a dose, it is recommended to call your physician. Never inject Avonex 2 days in a row, as your injections should have at least a 48-hour window period.