Talking to your doctor quote with Angela L.

"Be your own self advocate. Speak up and talk to your doctor about your expectations, questions, and concerns about your treatment plan."

Val V. MS LifeLines Ambassador, living with relapsing MS

Following your multiple sclerosis diagnosis, it’s very important to choose a therapy that helps you reach your relapsing MS treatment goals. So take a moment to think about what’s important to you, and be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Questions for your healthcare provider

Before deciding on a relapsing MS treatment, have you and your doctor talked about any specific goals? Here are some things you may want to consider when thinking about a treatment.

  • Did the treatment reduce the rate of flare-ups (also known as relapses)?
  • Has the treatment been shown to slow disability progression?
  • Was the treatment proven to reduce new or enlarging brain lesions* on an MRI scan?†‡
    The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.
  • Has the treatment been proven to work better than another MS therapy in a head-to-head clinical study?
  • Does the treatment have a well-established safety profile?
  • What are the risks and benefits of the treatment you’re considering?
  • Does the treatment offer product features designed for flexibility?
  • Will there be support for me when I take the treatment?

If you'd like more help for talking to your healthcare provider, call MS LifeLines® at 1-877-447-3243.

* Both T2 new or enlarging lesions and gadolinium (Gd)-enhancing T1 lesions. Gadolinium is an imaging agent used to highlight new or enlarging lesions.
Refers to new lesions and total lesion burden or area as defined in the AAN and MS Council guidelines.
Lesions detected with both Gd-enhanced/T1-weighted and PD/T2-weighted MRI.

See more frequently asked questions

The average appointment with a neurologist lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, and the time goes by quickly. If you enter the doctor's office with a specific agenda in mind, then you'll have a better chance of leaving the office with a sense of accomplishment.

Jennifer S. MS, APRN-BC, ANP

6 tips for better communication

Have you ever left a doctor appointment and realized you forgot to discuss questions or thoughts you might have had? Are you overwhelmed by some of the language your healthcare provider uses to discuss your test results or your multiple sclerosis?

Here are some ideas to help make conversations about MS with your healthcare provider more productive:

  • Make a list of your questions ahead of time. Prioritize the top 3 questions you'd like to ask during your appointment, and remember to take notes.
  • Bring a friend with you. It can help to have another person listen to your healthcare provider and take notes to help you remember the details later.
  • Ask your healthcare provider to explain anything you don't understand. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
  • Try not to downplay your symptoms or feelings. Remember, the people on your healthcare team are experts in caring for people living with MS—try to tell them exactly how you are doing.
  • Ask about follow-up. Is it best to get in touch by phone or email, or should you plan another visit?
  • Keep all your medical records in one place. Store your appointment notes, invoices, test results, treatment journal, etc. in a binder or box, so you can refer to them quickly and easily.

Download our treatment journal to help plan your next appointment

Want more tips for talking to your doctor?

Harold Moses, MD, shares what he asks patients who are newly diagnosed with relapsing MS. He gives tips on what to do if you can't remember the details of symptoms as well as questions to ask your doctor.

Watch “What a Doctor Asks His New Patients”

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Important Safety Information and Indication

Important Safety Information


Before beginning treatment, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif with your healthcare provider.

Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking Rebif.

  • 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 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.

Do not take Rebif if you are allergic to interferon beta, human albumin, or any of the ingredients in Rebif.

Before you take Rebif, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

  • mental illness, including depression and suicidal behavior
  • liver problems, bleeding problems or blood clots, low blood cell counts, seizures (epilepsy), or thyroid problems
  • you drink alcohol
  • you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Rebif will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant during your treatment with Rebif
  • you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Rebif passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will use Rebif or breastfeed. You should not do both

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

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.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Refer to the Instructions for Use that comes with Rebif® Rebidose® (interferon beta-1a) autoinjector.


Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.