Name: Rebif (interferon beta-1a)
Type: Subcutaneous (Under the skin) Injection
Approved For: Reducing the frequency of MS flare-ups (relapses) in patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS).
Reported Relapse Reduction Rate: 50% Compared to Avonex; Annualized relapse rate—Rebif: 0.32; Avonex: 0.64.
Recommended Dosage: 44mcg or 22mcg
Needle Size: 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeter) length; 29 gauge
Schedule: 3 Times a Week (Example; Mon, Wed, Fri)
Injection Sites: Revolve between under each arm, the stomach, each hip, and each thigh.
- An injection device known as the “Rebiject II” is available for Rebif pre-filled syringes. This spring loaded device allows you to load the
syringe, set the depth, and inject with the press of a button.
- Another spring loaded device for Rebif is the “Rebidose”, a preassembled, single-use autoinjector.
- Also available is the “RebiSmart”, an electronic injection device used to administer a set dose of Rebif.
Storage: Must be refrigerated until use. Can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days
Support Team: MS LifeLines – 1-877-447-3243 – Offers injection training, 24/7 support from MS certified nurses, payment assistance programs, and hosts various events teaching about MS
and connecting people who share the disease.
How Rebif Works: “The active substance in Rebif, interferon beta-1a, belongs to the group ‘interferons’. Interferons are natural substances produced by the body to help it fight against attacks such as infections caused by viruses. The exact way that Rebif works in MS is not yet fully understood but interferon beta seems to calm the immune system down and prevent relapses of MS. ” –European Medicines Agency
Common Side Effects: Injection-site reactions and flu-like symptoms are two of the most common
side effects with Rebif. To help with these symptoms it is recommended that you heat the injection site with a heating pack
for about 5 minutes before you inject and then ice the area with a
cooling pack for about 5 minutes after you inject as well as take ibuprofen around 30 minutes (time may vary) before injecting.
Stomach pain, headache, and drowsiness are also common. Injections can sting/burn.
This is not a complete list of side effects.
In July of 2012 The Journal of the American Medical Association released a study that showed interferon treatments to not slow down the progression of Multiple Sclerosis, meaning, those who took interferon treatments for MS were no less likely to develop disability over time then those who didn’t take anything for MS at all. Disease progression was measured by using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the study showed that those on interferon treatments reached a 6 (needing a cane to walk 330 feet/100 meters) just as fast as those who were not on any disease modifying treatment. –CBS News