Avonex

 

AVONEX®

[INTERFERON BETA-1a]

Avonex® belongs to a class of drugs known as immune-modulators. Avonex® is a synthetic form of human protein called interferon beta, made by Biogen Idec Inc. Interferon beta is a type of immune-response protein that has antiviral activities and helps to mediate your body’s immune system.

Avonex® is currently FDA-approved for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical studies show that Avonex® reduces signs and symptoms of MS by decreasing the frequency of flare-ups and slows progression of physical disability associated with MS.

Avonex® is given directly as an intramuscular (IM) injection. Avonex® requires a valid prescription from your prescriber. Ocean Breeze Healthcare can provide Avonex® as well as most of the supplies you would need to administer Avonex®.

What form is Avonex® currently available?

Avonex® is currently available in 3 formulations: a single-dose vial, prefilled syringe and prefilled pen.

The single-use vial is formulated as dry powder that needs to be mixed with 1.1ml of the liquid mixing solution (diluents). Each vial of reconstituted solution contains 30mcg dose/1.0ml of interferon beta-1a.

The single-dose prefilled syringe contains a 30mcg dose/0.5ml of interferon beta-1a liquid solution.

Each single-use prefilled autoinjector pen contains 30mcg dose in 0.5ml of interferon beta-1a solution.

What are some potential side effects of Avonex®?

Common side effects with Avonex® include, but are not limited to, injection site reactions such as rash, redness or bruising. Some of the other possible side effects are flu-like symptoms, headache, muscle pain, stomach upset, and depressed mood. If you are experiencing any unwanted side effect(s) or have any specific questions or concerns regarding a side effect, contact your doctor or pharmacist. You may also report the side effect(s) to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Who should NOT use Avonex®?

Avonex® should be avoided if you have a history of allergy and/or hypersensitivity to interferon beta or to any other component of the formulation. Avonex® vials should not be used if you have a history of allergy and/or hypersensitivity to human albumin. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, nursing, have had seizures, or are allergic to rubber latex.

How do you administer Avonex®?

Avonex® must be injected into the muscles as an intramuscular (IM) injection. All Avonex® formulations are for one-time administration only.

Administration of the Avonex® vial requires the dry powder to be mixed with the sterile water diluent to form a solution before intramuscular injection. Gently swirl the vial to dissolve the drug completely. DO NOT SHAKE. The reconstituted solution should be clear to slightly yellow without particles. Inspect the product visually prior to use. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if it contains particles or is discolored.    

For detailed instructions, please refer to Avonex® Vial Instructions handout.

The Avonex® prefilled syringe should be allowed to warm to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Before injection, inspect the content of the syringe to make sure the drug solution is clear and colorless. First snap off the pen cap on the syringe, and then attach the pen needle onto the top of the syringe for injection. For detailed instructions, please refer to Avonex® Prefilled Syringe Instructions handout.

Avonex® autoinjector pen should be allowed to warm to room temperature for about 30 mintues before injection. First, snap off the pen cap, then screw on the pen needle while the needle is still inside the needle cover. Then pull the injector shield all the way up until it covers the needle. Check the oval medication display window to make sure the drug solution is clear and colorless. Place the pen against the skin on the injection site at a 90 degree angle. Firmly push the body of the pen down against the skin to release the safety lock, and press the blue button on top of the pen to release the medication intramuscularly. For detailed instructions, please refer to Avonex® Pen Instruction handout.

How do you store Avonex®?

All Avonex® formulations should be stored in the refrigerator (36 – 46° Fahrenheit). DO NOT FREEZE. Protect from light.

Avonex® vials may be stored at room temperature (up to 77° Fahrenheit) for up to 30 days prior to mixing. Once Avonex® is mixed, it must be used immediately or within 6 hours when stored in the refrigerator.

Avonex® prefilled syringes and Avonex® pens may be stored at room temperature (up to 77° Fahrenheit) for up to 7 days.

How long does Avonex ® last?

Before opening, any unused Avonex® is stable until the indicated expiration date listed on the packaging if all the required storage conditions are met. Once the vial is mixed, it is stable for up to 6 hours under refrigeration. All Avonex® vials and prefilled syringes, and pens are intended for one-time use only; discard any unused drug after each dose.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q:    Does Avonex® cure multiple sclerosis (MS)?
A:    No, Avonex® is not a cure for MS. It simply relieves the symptoms associated with MS and may potentially             slow the progression of MS.

Q:    Are there any preservatives in Avonex®?
A:     No, Avonex® does not contain any preservatives.

Q:    How often do I take Avonex®?
A:    You should take Avonex® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. In general, Avonex® is taken once-a-week, at            the same time every week. Do not take Avonex® consecutively for 2 days in a row.  

Manufacturer Website

http://www.avonex.com/

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.  You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication.  You should read carefully all product packaging.  If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

 
 

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