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What is Avonex?


Avonex® (interferon beta-1a) is a drug used to treat the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disease that causes nerve damage leading to numbness, weakness and loss of bodily control and function. Avonex® works by modifying the immune system, decreasing the number of relapses and the amount of physical disability a person suffers from. While these drugs can provide some relief from MS symptoms, there is currently no actual cure for multiple sclerosis. Interferon beta-1a can also be used to treat genital warts.

Avonex® dosages

The dose of injectable interferon beta-1a varies from person to person and may be given at a clinic or at home. Talk to your doctor about the best dose for you and always follow the directions on the label. Once diluted, the vials must be kept in the refrigerator.

Avonex® side effects

Side effects from Avonex® include flu-like symptoms like fatigue, headache, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. They can also cause dizziness, pain, injection site reactions, numbness, hair loss and muscle weakness. Rare but more serious side effects include depression, hallucinations, seizures, liver problems, chest pain and allergic reactions. Talk to your doctor if your side effects become bothersome or severe. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor regarding any questions you may have about Avonex®.

Get more information about Multiple Sclerosis in our Health Encyclopedia.

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