Rebif (Interferon beta-1a)
REBIF® (Interferon beta-1a) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is a form of protein called beta interferon that is produced in the body. REBIF will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
The exact process by which Rebif and other interferon beta drugs work to reduce the frequency of exacerbations and slow the progression of disability in MS is unknown. However, as interferons play an important role in controlling immune system activities, Rebif may use its ability (as an interferon) to control the abnormal immune response that appears to be involved in MS. When Rebif is given to a person, levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a role in the immune system response are decreased.
Rebif was approved in Europe in 1998 and in the US in 2002 and today is registered in more than 90 countries worldwide.
REBIF (interferon beta-1a) is formulated as a sterile solution in a prefilled syringe or REBIF Rebidose autoinjector intended for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection. Each 0.5 mL (0.5 cc) of REBIF contains either 22 mcg or 44 mcg of interferon beta-1a, 2 mg or 4 mg albumin (human), 27.3 mg mannitol, 0.4 mg sodium acetate, and water for injection. Each 0.2 mL (0.2 cc) of REBIF contains 8.8 mcg of interferon beta-1a, 0.8 mg albumin (human), 10.9 mg mannitol, 0.16 mg sodium acetate, and water for injection.
Rebif is administered by subcutaneous injection (injection under the skin) three times weekly.
|% of patients exacerbation free at 2 years|
|Placebo||Rebif ®||Rebif ®|
Number of exacerbations in Subset (people who completed full 2 years) completing 2 years of Rebif ®
|Average exacerbations per patient over 2 years|
|Placebo||Rebif ®||Rebif ®|
Ref: Rebif ® prescribing information
The most common side effects of Rebif include:
- flu-like symptoms. You may have flu-like symptoms when you first start taking Rebif. You may be able to manage these flu-like symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain and fever reducers. For many people, these symptoms lessen or go away over time. Symptoms may include muscle aches, fever, tiredness, and chills
- stomach pain
- change in liver blood tests
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Rebif. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
- Behavioral health problems including depression and suicidal thoughts. You may have mood problems including depression (feeling hopeless or feeling bad about yourself), and thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide
- Liver problems or worsening of liver problems including liver failure. Symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark colored urine and pale stools, yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eye, bleeding more easily than normal, confusion, and sleepiness. During your treatment with Rebif you will need to see your healthcare provider regularly and have regular blood tests to check for side effects
- Serious allergic and skin reactions. Symptoms may include itching, swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue or throat, trouble breathing, anxiousness, feeling faint, skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or skin blisters and peels
- Injection site problems. Symptoms at the injection site may include redness pain, swelling, color changes (blue or black), and drainage of fluid.
- Blood problems. Rebif can affect your bone marrow and cause low red and white blood cell, and platelet counts. In some people, these blood cell counts may fall to dangerously low levels. If your blood cell counts become very low, you can get infections and problems with bleeding and bruising. Your healthcare provider may ask you to have regular blood tests to check for blood problems
- Seizures. Some people have had seizures while taking Rebif
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) is an injectable disease-modifying treatment for people diagnosed with MS, manufactured by EMD Serono and co-marketed by EMD Serono and Pfizer. Rebif is indicated (approved for use) for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS to reduce frequency of exacerbations and slow the progression of disability.