Talk to Your Doctor About Rebif® (interferon beta‐1a)
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TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR

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Discussing the details of Rebif

Following your relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) diagnosis, it’s very important to choose a therapy that helps you reach your RMS 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 an RMS treatment, have you and your doctor talked about specific goals? Here are some things to consider when thinking about a treatment:

  1. Does the treatment have a well-established safety profile?
  2. Did the treatment reduce the rate of flare-ups (also known as relapses) in clinical trials?
  3. Has the treatment been shown to slow disability progression?
  4. Was the treatment proven to reduce the number of new or enlarging brain lesions on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan?†‡
  5. Has the treatment been proven to work better than another MS therapy in a head-to-head clinical study?
  6. What are the risks and benefits of the treatment you’re considering?
  7. Does the treatment offer product features designed for flexibility?
  8. Will there be support for me when I take the treatment?
  9. Is there a reason that this treatment is not appropriate for me?

* 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 T1-Gd+ and PD/T2-weighted MRI.

See 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.

Patrice H., RN, MSCN
MS LifeLines Nurse


6 TIPS FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION

Have you ever left a doctor appointment and realized that you forgot to discuss questions or thoughts you might have had? Are you overwhelmed by some of the language that 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Bring a friend or care partner with you.
    It can help to have another person listen to your healthcare provider and take notes to help you remember the details later.
  3. Ask your healthcare provider to explain anything you don't understand.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions if anything is unclear.
  4. Try not to downplay your symptoms or feelings.
    Remember, the people on your healthcare team are experts in caring for people living with RMS—try to tell them exactly how you are doing.
  5. Ask about follow-up.
    Is it best to get in touch by phone or email, or should you plan another visit?
  6. Keep all of your medical records in one place.
    Store your appointment notes, invoices, test results, treatment journal, etc., in a binder or box so that you can refer to them quickly and easily.

WANT MORE TIPS FOR TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR?

Harold Moses, MD, shares what he asks patients who are newly diagnosed with RMS. 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”

Dr. Moses is a paid consultant of EMD Serono, Inc.

The people in these photos are not actual Rebif patients.


Next: FAQs →

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
  • you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Rebif may pass into your breastmilk. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Rebif

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. 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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
  • you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Rebif may pass into your breastmilk. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Rebif

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. 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.