Extavia (interferon beta-1b)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: March 2022 | Last updated: February 2023

Extavia® (interferon beta-1b) is approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults, including:1

  • Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
  • Relapsing-remitting MD
  • Active secondary progressive MS

Extavia is a form of interferon beta 1-b that is given by subcutaneous injection (under the skin). It is intended to reduce the incidence of MS exacerbations. An exacerbation is the appearance of a new sign or symptom or the clinical worsening of a previous sign or symptom that persists for at least 24 hours.1

What are the ingredients in Extavia?

The active ingredient in Extavia is interferon beta-1B.1

How does Extavia work?

The way Extavia works is not well understood. It is thought to act by reducing inflammation and the immune response that attacks the body’s myelin.1

What are the possible side effects of Extavia?

Many clinical trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Extavia. The most common side effects of Extavia include:1

  • Injection site reaction
  • Muscle pain
  • Low white blood cell counts
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasticity and rigidity
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Sleeplessness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Physical weakness

Extavia can also cause serious side effects, including:1

  • Liver problems, including liver failure. Symptoms can include yellowing of your eyes, itchy skin, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and bruising easily.
  • Serious allergic reactions. Symptoms can include breathing problems, swelling of the mouth or tongue, rash, itching, and skin bumps.
  • Depression or thoughts of self-harm, as well as trouble sleeping, hallucinations, anxiety, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweating, fatigue, and muscle aches.
  • Seizures, including those in people who have never had seizures before.
  • Drug-induced lupus erythematosus

Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of serious side effects.1

These are not all the possible side effects of Extavia Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Extavia. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Extavia.

Things to know about Extavia

Before starting Extavia, talk with your doctor if you have:1

  • An allergy to natural or recombinant interferon beta, albumin, or mannitol
  • A history of anaphylaxis
  • A history of hiver problems
  • Depression, anxiety, or trouble sleeping
  • A history or seizures
  • A history of heart problems
  • A history of blood problems, such as bleeding or bruising easily, low red blood cell counts (anemia), or low white blood cell counts
  • An allergy to rubber or latex

There is not enough data to know if Extavia is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding before starting Extavia.1

Before beginning treatment for MS, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Extavia.

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