Possible side effects
Before you choose a treatment for relapsing MS, you should consider possible side effects. Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) does have potential side effects. Some are common and others can be potentially serious and require immediate medical attention.
Please talk to your health care provider about any side effects you may have.
Please see important safety information below and the Rebif Medication Guide and Prescribing Information in the top right corner of this website, and speak with your health care provider for more information.
What are the possible side effects of Rebif?
- Flu-like symptoms
Many people have flu-like symptoms following an injection. Specific symptoms can be fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness. There are tips to help with reactions should they occur, such as taking your injection before you go to sleep. You should talk to your health care professional about whether taking an over-the-counter medication for pain or fever reduction before or after taking your dose of Rebif is recommended for you.
Learn tips that may help with flu-like symptoms from an MS neurologist.
- Injection-site reactions
Soreness, redness, pain, bruising or swelling may occur at the place of injection. If you experience an injection-site reaction with Rebif, don't be discouragedMS LifeLines® is here to help. Often, a nurse can give you tips that may help manage these reactions.
- Depression and anxiety
Some people taking interferons have become very depressed and/or anxious. There have been people taking interferons who have had thoughts about killing themselves. If you feel sad or hopeless, you should tell a friend or family member right away and call your doctor immediately.
- Liver problems
Your liver function may be affected. If you develop symptoms of changes in your liver, including yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and easy bruising, call your health care provider immediately.
- Blood problems
You may have a drop in the levels of infection-fighting blood cells, red blood cells or cells that help to form blood clots. If the drop in levels is severe, it can lessen your ability to fight infections, make you feel tired or sluggish, or cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
- Thyroid problems
Your thyroid function may change. Symptoms of changes in the function of your thyroid include feeling cold or hot all the time, or a change in your weight (gain or loss) without a change in your diet or amount of exercise.
- Allergic reactions
Some people have had hives, rash, skin bumps or itching while they were taking Rebif. Other people have had more serious allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or feeling light-headed. You should tell your health care provider if you think you are having an allergic reaction.
Hear more about possible side effects with Rebif from an MS neurologist.
Have questions about certain side effects with Rebif?
The trained MS LifeLines Nurse Network can help. The MS LifeLines Nurse Network is a vast team of nurses who provide training and support to individuals with relapsing MS. MS-certified nurses provide education to patients and families about MS and tips for people taking Rebif.
Injection-site reactions and flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness) are the most common side effects of Rebif. But there may be things you can do to help with these side effects.
Get helpful tips for managing common symptoms and certain side effects should they occur by speaking to an MS LifeLines Nurse at 1-877-447-3243 Monday through Friday 8 AM to 10 PM ET and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM ET.
For more information about drug safety and adverse event reporting, visit the Food and Drug Administration website.