Why should you choose AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a)?

Why AVONEX?

Works on 3 key areas for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)

In order to determine how effective AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) is in treating relapsing MS, 2 studies were conducted:

  • In the first study, which was initiated in 1990 and took place over 2 years, 158 people with relapsing MS taking AVONEX by intramuscular injection were compared with 143 people with relapsing MS in the placebo group
  • In the second study, which was conducted from April 1996 until March 2000, 193 people with relapsing MS who had recently experienced a first flare-up were given AVONEX by intramuscular injection and compared with 190 people in the placebo group. These patients were followed for up to 3 years

In these studies, AVONEX was found to:

Reduce relapses.

In people who took AVONEX for the full 2 years of a study, AVONEX reduced relapses by 32% compared with placebo.

  • The annual relapse rate was 0.61 per patient-year in the AVONEX-treated group and 0.90 per patient-year in the placebo-treated group (P=0.002)

When including the people enrolled in the study who didn't take AVONEX for the full 2 years, AVONEX reduced relapses by 18% compared with placebo.

  • The annual relapse rate was 0.67 per patient-year in the AVONEX-treated group and 0.82 per patient-year in the placebo-treated group (P=0.04)

Work from the first flare-up.

In a study of people who had only experienced one flare-up,* people taking AVONEX were 44% less likely to have a relapse at 3 years, compared with people in the placebo group.

Help slow physical disability progression.

In a 2-year clinical study, it took significantly longer for people with relapsing MS taking AVONEX to have increased physical disability compared with people in the placebo group.

  • People taking AVONEX were 37% less likely to have increased physical disability at 2 years
  • At the end of this study, 78% of people (67 out of 85) taking AVONEX had no increase in physical disability, compared with 66% of people (58 out of 87) in the placebo group

Help reduce brain lesions.

In a 2-year study, AVONEX reduced the number of gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced lesions by 75%, compared with the beginning of the study.

  • At the start of the study, people in the AVONEX group had 3.2 Gd-enhanced lesions vs 0.8 lesions after 2 years on AVONEX

In a 3-year study, AVONEX reduced the size of T2 lesions by 91% compared with placebo at 18 months.

Definitions

Interferon: Protein produced by your body as part of its natural defense system.

Placebo group: People in a clinical study who do not take treatment for their disease (in this case, relapsing MS).

Rate: The number of events (like a relapse) that one person experiences over a specific period of time.

Gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced lesions: Lesions that show active inflammation using a dye containing gadolinium.

T2 lesions: Lesions that show the long-term impact of inflammation on your brain.

* A study of people who had experienced a first flare-up and had lesions consistent with MS on their MRIs. In this study a relapse was defined as 1) a new clinical sign of MS that differed from the patient's presentation when they entered the study or 2) an increase of at least 1.5 Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) points or 3) further worsening noted at 2 months or the patient withdrew before completing 2 months of treatment.

Patients in the placebo group saw a 30% reduction from baseline in the number of Gd-enhanced lesions after 2 years.

Taking AVONEX
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Important Safety Information and Indication

AVONEX can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking AVONEX.

Indication

AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is approved by FDA to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. AVONEX is approved for use in people who have experienced a first attack and have lesions consistent with MS on their MRI.

Important Safety Information

Before beginning treatment, you should discuss with your healthcare provider the potential benefits and risks associated with AVONEX.

AVONEX can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking AVONEX.

AVONEX 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. MS is a life-long disease that affects your nervous system by destroying the protective covering (myelin) that surrounds your nerve fibers.

The way AVONEX works in MS is not known. It is not known if AVONEX is safe and effective in children.

Do not take AVONEX if you are allergic to interferon beta, albumin (human), or any of the ingredients in AVONEX.

Before taking AVONEX, tell your healthcare provider if you:

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

AVONEX can cause serious side effects including:

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of AVONEX include:

Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important safety information. This information is not intended to replace discussions with your healthcare provider.

Indication

AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is approved by FDA to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. AVONEX is approved for use in people who have experienced a first attack and have lesions consistent with MS on their MRI.