Before you use Rebif, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, think that you may be pregnant, or are planning to have a baby; if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed; if you have cardiac disease, severe renal failure or severe decrease in the development of blood cells; if you have a pre-existing seizure disorder; if you have depression or suicidal thoughts; if you have liver or kidney problems; or if you have problems with your thyroid gland.
Like all medicines, Rebif can have side effects. The most common side effects are flu-like symptoms and injection site reactions. These symptoms are generally mild, are more common at the start of the treatment, and decrease with continued use. If any of these undesirable effects are severe or persist, you should contact your healthcare team. In some cases, your physician may prescribe a pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) or may temporarily change your dose. You should not stop or alter the medication without your doctor’s advice.
Although uncommon, there is a potential risk of liver injury. As a safety precaution, your doctor will monitor your liver function with regular laboratory testing. If you notice any symptoms, such as loss of appetite with malaise, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or dark urine, please contact your doctor.
As with all interferons, female patients are recommended to use adequate contraception, as it is not known whether interferons interact with oral contraceptives, or if they interfere with fetus development.
Depression, thoughts or attempt of suicide may occur in patients with MS. If you have any of these feelings, please contact your physician immediately.
Warnings and precautions
Women of childbearing potential: If you are a woman of childbearing potential and are taking REBIF, you should use effective methods of contraception unless you are planning to become pregnant and have talked to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of staying on REBIF. It is not known if interferons interfere with hormonal contraceptives. As with all interferons, female patients are recommended to use adequate contraception unless planning to become pregnant.
Contact your doctor right away if you experience the following symptoms:
- Your skin or the whites of your eyes become yellow or if you are bruising easily
- Feeling noticeably sadder or helpless, or you feel like hurting yourself or others
- Flu-like syndrome; irregular heartbeat, fluid retention (swelling) in the lower parts of your body (e.g., ankles, legs) or shortness of breath
- Have a seizure
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling abnormally cold or hot, gaining or losing weight without a change in your diet or the amount of exercise you are getting, feeling unusually tired or nervous and having unusually very dry skin
Kidney problems: Blood clots in the small blood vessels may occur during your treatment. These blood clots could affect your kidney (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura or hemolytic uremic syndrome). This might happen several weeks to several years after starting Rebif. Your doctor may want to check your blood pressure, blood (platelet count) and the function of your kidneys.
For more information, please consult the package insert that came with your medication.
Your Rebif Patient Brochure provides detailed treatment information, tips and tools to help you start and stay on Rebif as prescribed by your doctor. Visit the adveva Catalogue any time to order supplies free of charge.
Rebif and RebiSmart are trademarks of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany or its affiliates.