Taking Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)
You will be ready to begin taking Rebif to treat your relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) once your first shipment of Rebif arrives in the mail and you've received injection training from your health care professional and/or an MS LifeLines Field Nurse.
Here are some tips you may find helpful. Although you may not always feel like you need to be on treatment, once disability progresses, it can't be reversed. Rebif is proven to delay the progression of disability, which is the permanent worsening of your neurologic examination over time. That's why it's important to take Rebif as prescribed.
Tips for taking Rebif
- Tip 1
Apply a warm cloth or compress to the injection site after injecting.
- Tip 2
Bedtime injections are advised, as they may help you to sleep through many of the potential flu-like symptoms.
- Tip 3
Leave the air bubble in the syringe.
- Tip 4
Allow enough time for your Rebif prefilled syringe to reach room temperature before use (typically, 1 to 4 hours before the injection). Doing this may help minimize injection-site discomfort.
Remember to temporarily store your Rebif somewhere safe and out of the way like a kitchen cabinet so that exposure to light and heat is limited. Room temperature should be less than 77° Fahrenheit. Rebif syringes should never be warmed in the microwave or placed in boiling water.
- Tip 5
If you forget an injection and it has been 48 hours since your last injection, take it as soon as you remember. Then, skip a day and take the next one. If it has been more than three days or you have taken the wrong dose, contact your doctor.
- Tip 6
Rotate your injection sites, moving between different areas of the arms, legs, abdomen and buttocks. Do not inject in the same place twice in a row, and be sure to wait at least seven days before using a particular spot again. When rotating sites, remember that you can use the entire area of a site (not only a central or focal point). For injection sites, refer to the diagram in the Medication Guide (PDF).
- Tip 7
If you are very thin, use only the thigh or the outer surface of the arm for injection. Refer to the diagram in the Medication Guide (PDF).
- Tip 8
Gently massage the area in a circular motion for at least 2 minutes afterward to help disperse the medicine and reduce irritation.
- Tip 9
Some over-the-counter products may help soothe redness, swelling or itching. Aloe vera, hydrocortisone, anesthetic creams and oatmeal products may all help reduce itching and redness. Check with your health care professional to see what might be right for you.
MS LifeLines® is here to help
If you experience injection-site reactions with Rebif, don't be discouraged: MS LifeLines is here to help. A nurse support specialist can give you tips that may help manage these reactions. But remember, if you are experiencing more serious side effects, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible. To talk to someone at MS LifeLines, call toll-free at 1-877-44-REBIF (1-877-447-3243 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 10 PM ET and Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM ET.
Important Safety Information
The most common side effects with Rebif are injection-site reactions, flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches, tiredness), depression, abdominal pain, increased liver enzymes, and blood cell count decreases.
Please see additional important safety information below and the Rebif Medication Guide and Prescribing Information in the top right corner of this website, and speak with your doctor for more information.