Thursday, September 08, 2011 Angela, Community Member, asks

Q: Rebif vs Avonex? Up the dosage?

I've been shown to be negative for antibodies against interferon, but have had 3 attacks in the last year. Would I be better off at a higher dose of interferon, Rebif, verses the Avonex I've been on for 10 years? Has anyone else been switched to a more potent interferon, and found it to be beneficial? My Dr. seems to be non-comittal with his response.
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Answers (1)
Lisa Emrich, Health Guide
9/30/11 3:47pm

Hi Angela,


I'm so sorry that I didn't see your question before now.  Comparing the dosage or presumed potency of Avonex vs. Rebif is difficult to do.  This is because Avonex is given in the muscle and Rebif is injected under the skin.  This difference in method of delivery makes it hard to compare potency.  It is possible that less of Rebif is actually absorbed into the body (I'm guessing) and that is why a higher concentration of the drug is used.


Some doctors might consider switching from Avonex/Rebif to Betaseron if they want to stick with an interferon drug.  Please know that I'm not an expert on medication and certainly not a medical professional.


Switching drugs is such a personal thing.  So many variable and it's too bad that your doctor isn't providing more guidance.  Perhaps ask him directly what is recommended for a patient whose disease is suddenly more active.  Tell him point blank - "I want and need your expert advice!"


Angela, Community Member
10/ 2/11 8:02pm

Thanks for your input. I was on Betaseron before the Avonex and had liver issues. Being that I've done relatively well on Avonex until this past year, it seems like a higher dose would be the next step. My Dr did order the antibody test, which was negative, but has not answered my question, STILL! I spoke with a nurse at the pharmacy site and she said it sounded like a reasonable move. I'll put in another call to the Dr tomorrow. I'm headed to Mayo this month and will also get their input. I'll report back for other's.

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By Angela, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/02/11, First Published: 09/08/11