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Drug Info > R > Rebif
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name


Common Name
interferon beta-1a (Rebif)

In this drug factsheet:

DIN (Drug Identification Number)


How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Interferon beta-1a belongs to the group of medications known as immunomodulators. It is a form of a protein that is naturally made by our body's cells to fight infections and tumours. Interferon beta-1a is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and disabling disease caused by the body's own defense system attacking and destroying the protective covering (myelin) surrounding nerve fibres. Interferon beta-1a works by slowing down the attack of the body's defense cells on the nerves.

Interferon beta-1a will not cure MS but may decrease the number and severity of flare-ups of the disease, slow the progression of disability, reduce the use of corticosteroid medications (which are often used by people with MS), reduce the number of hospitalizations, and decrease the number and volume of active brain lesions (damaged areas of the brain) seen on MRI scans.

This medication can also be used to treat people with another type of MS known as secondary progressive MS (SPMS) who are still having relapses. In people with SPMS, the medication can decrease the frequency of relapses and reduce brain lesions seen on MRI scans.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

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How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of interferon beta-1a for relapsing-remitting forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) is 44 µg injected under the skin 3 times per week. Your doctor may reduce this dose to 22 µg injected under the skin 3 times per week if you are experiencing unacceptable side effects.

In order to reduce side effects when first starting treatment, it is recommended the dose be gradually increased as follows:

  • 20% of the recommended dose during the first 2 weeks of treatment,
  • 50% of the recommended dose during the third and fourth weeks of treatment, and
  • the full dose from the fifth week onwards.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

Interferon beta-1a is used with the guidance and supervision of a doctor. Your doctor or nurse may ask you to inject the medication at home once they have instructed you and are certain that you won't have any problems with doing it at home. Do not attempt to prepare or inject this medication on your own until you completely understand how to mix and inject a dose.

It is important that this medication be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you forget to take a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Interferon beta-1a should be stored in the refrigerator. Allow the medication to reach room temperature before injecting it.

Use a different injection site for each dose. You should avoid injecting this medication into an area of skin that is sore, red, infected, or otherwise damaged. If you are having difficulty giving yourself injections, talk to your health care provider.

Please refer to the package insert (the written instructions that come in the medication package) for complete instructions on using this medication. Always wash your hands before preparing the medication and after you have used it.

Protect this medication from light, moisture, freezing and high temperatures. Keep this medication out of the reach of children.

This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under, "What form(s) does this medication come in?"

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Rebif® prefilled syringe

22 µg
Each prefilled syringe with 0.5 mL of solution contains interferon beta-1a 22 µg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, poloxamer-188, methionine, benzyl alcohol, and sodium acetate buffer. Preservative-free.

44 µg
Each prefilled syringe with 0.5 mL of solution contains interferon beta-1a 44 µg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, poloxamer-188, methionine, benzyl alcohol, and sodium acetate buffer. Preservative-free.

Rebif® multi-dose prefilled cartridge

66 µg/1.5 mL cartridge
Each prefilled cartridge designed to deliver 3 doses of interferon beta-1a 22 µg/0.5 mL contains interferon beta-1a 66 µg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, poloxamer-188, methionine, benzyl alcohol, and sodium acetate buffer.

132 µg/1.5 mL cartridge
Each prefilled cartridge designed to deliver 3 doses of interferon beta-1a 44 µg/0.5 mL contains interferon beta-1a 132 µg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: mannitol, poloxamer-188, methionine, benzyl alcohol, and sodium acetate buffer.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to interferon beta-1a, any form of interferon beta, or any ingredients of the medication
  • are or may be pregnant


Is it time to talk to your neurologist about your MS?

Evaluate your current MS treatment and get some guidance to have a discussion with your neurologist. Your neurologist can help you make sure you are getting optimal treatment to best manage your MS.

Just answer the questions and bring the results with you to your next appointment.

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