Monday, July 03, 2006
Avonex...Steph we...we..we love you!
Name: Avonex, interferon beta-1a (The a and b difference with Avonex and Betaseron refer to a structural variation in the interferon beta molecule).

Marketed By: Biogen Idec

Intended Use: For the treatment of relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS).

Profile of User: An individual who has a clinical diagnosis of RRMS and has had two relapses in the last two years; however, Avonex is also approved for use in individuals who may have symptoms associated with MS, but are not yet diagnosed with it.

What It Is: Avonex is very similar to Betaseron. Avonex (interferon beta 1-a) is almost identical to the natural beta interferon proteins produced in the body. The drug is extracted from Chinese hamster ovary cell using recombinant DNA techniques (cloning).

How it Works: All of the interferons are thought to work in the same way. Avonex is thought to work with the beta interferons that naturally occur in the body when the immune system is activated. It works by blocking immune activating effects of gama interferons (gama interferons increase immune response that attacks myelin in MS patients), and is thought to prevent immuno-cells that attack the myelin from crossing the blood-brain barrier.

- Interferons identified in 1957.
- In 1994, an American company called Biogen reported on a multi-centre clinical trial that showed Avonex to reduce the number of relapses in people with R-RMS from 1/5-1/3
- 1996 the U.S. FDA approves Avonex for the treatment of R-RMS in the U.S.
- In April 1998, Avonex is approved for use in Canada for the treatment of R-RMS by the Federal Health Protection Branch.
- In 1998, Biogen began the IMPACT (International Multiple Sclerosis Secondary-Progressive Avonex Controlled Trial) Study.
- Results of IMPACT study in 2001 showed Avonex to have a significant effect on the reduction of lesion activity visible in an MRI scan, but to not have any impact on the number of relapses in patients with secondary-progressive MS.
- On April 18, 2005, a stronger warning about rare cases of liver failure was added to the Avonex side effects list by Biogen.
- Recently, Avonex has been in trials use in conjunction with a new Biogen MS drug called Tysabri. Avonex is currently the most prescribed drug for the treatment of RRMS worldwide.

Benefits: Slows the progression of disability in RRMS, decreases relapse rate by approximately 1/3, and decreases the amount of damage (or lesion activity) seen on MRI scans by approximately 1/ 3.

Administration: Intramuscular injection of 30mcg once a week.

Cost: Base cost of $16,790 per year. In British Columbia, Pharmacare coverage is based on family income; once deductible is reached, Pharmacare pays 70% of costs; when family maximum is reached, Pharmacare pays 100% of costs. Drugs are 100% covered for people in long-term care facilities and those on social assistance. Private insurance coverage varies.

Side Effects/Disadvantages:
- Flu-like symptoms including fever, muscle ache, nausea, headache, and fatigue.( ms really!)
- Injection site reactions including itching, redness, pain, and swelling.
- All interferons may cause fluctuations of liver enzymes, and lowering of the white blood-cell count.
- Some users of interferons develop neutralizing antibodies (NABs) which interfere with or neutralize the effects of interferon treatment
- Depression has been linked to interferon treatment.
- Rare: mild anemia, liver failure, allergic reactions, and heart problems
- (flu-like side effects and injection site reactions should lessen after continued use).
*** Vanessa Carlton:1 week till winter****
I wish, just need to be cool before I scare the neighbors going for my post in the nude again!
Hope your all well,

P.S If anyone would like to add to these please email me direct:

Up and coming reports:Refib,Tysabri,Novantrone: mitoxantrone(smurf blood!),Lyrica, Sativex(weed!) and Tovaxin(the wounder drug!)
posted by personallog! @ 11:21 am  
  • At 9:39 am, Blogger Jaime said…

    Love that you are doing the research and helping to educate all of us! You are the best! :)

    It was great to actually talk to you! We will have to talk again soon! Take care.


Post a comment
<< Home
ms....not just a diary
About Me

Name: personallog!
Home: St. Annes, Lancashire, United Kingdom
About Me:
I am 6ft 3" skinny and not well. I was diagnosed with ms in 2004 and I would like to speak with others who have ms. I have a want to raise money for ms charities. We have to find a cure for this hell!!!! See my complete profile

More of ME
ms/disabilty reads
Other Interests
Previous Post