Pre-filled vs. Powder

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Avonex

Pre-filled vs. Powder

Postby Xenova » Wed May 05, 2004 4:50 pm

I got a letter from Biogen Idec which states that they will bring the powder form of avonex back to the market along with the pre-filled. They said that focus groups revealed that some people preferred the powder form. Personally, I think the pre-filled formula is much more convenient and the injection and side effects are no different than the powder form.

:?: My question: Why are people asking for the powder form be made available? I'm just being inquisitive and trying to understand. Any insight would be appreciated.


a possible answer from today's Boston Globe

Postby anonymous689 » Fri May 07, 2004 5:29 pm

Cambridge drug maker Biogen Idec Inc. yesterday warned of possible shortages of its Avonex drug for multiple sclerosis because of manufacturing problems with some prefilled syringes, which led to a $2.1 million inventory write-down in the first quarter and could lead to more charges.

The company had previously mentioned its manufacturing problem with Avonex to analysts, and the problems didn't stop Biogen Idec from reporting $355 million in Avonex sales for the three months that ended March 31, 29 percent higher than a year earlier.

Biogen Idec said that it can continue to supply patients currently on Avonex with the drug but that it is asking doctors to prescribe a less-convenient powdered form to new patients until it resolves the issues.

Re: Pre-filled vs. Powder

Postby seelie » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:35 pm

Xenova wrote: :?: My question: Why are people asking for the powder form be made available? I'm just being inquisitive and trying to understand. Any insight would be appreciated.

I was one of the people complaining about wantint the powder back. It had to do with the shelf life. The pre mixed stuff can live approx 6 hours out of the fridge... The powder --- 30 days!!

For taking on vacation and not having to find a cooler/ice etc... this is fantastic. Keeping Avonex on ice while primitive camping can be an issue...

If you are flying to Germany for example.... it would almost force you to make a cooler you piece of carry on luggage.... but if you have the powder form.... just throw it in with your carry ons and you're good to go... no matter how long the flight takes....

That's why I asked for it and why I was thrilled when they brought it back!!

It's always great to have options...

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Postby willysnout1 » Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:47 pm

I took a six-week vacation in Europe last summer. At that time I was using the powdered stuff, and I kept it in a styrofoam cooler anyway "just in case." I never had any trouble traveling with it. Customs was fine about it, and every hotel was happy to put the Avonex in the fridge and the ice packs in the freezer.

I like the premixed for the following reasons:

1. There's less preparation time. Especially important to me is that I now only open one alcohol wipe as opposed to two with the powder. I have a Pavlovian thing when I smell rubbing alcohol. It says "shot!" to my brain and my blood pressure goes up. The premixed procedure is a lot easier on my nerves.

2. Less volume of solution. I now inject 0.5 ml of solution rather than 1.0 ml with the powder. This has eliminated the occasional dull ache I'd get on account of the volume of the old stuff going into my leg muscle.

3. Less stuff to dispose of.

I can't quite understand why anyone would prefer the powder, but there are a lot of personal preferences that I can't quite fathom. I'd really hate it if they ever did away with the premixed, but if they're willing to offer both forms I can't object.
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Postby Vero » Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:55 pm

I used the powder form for 4 years no problem. The prefills made me so sick. I had horrific flu like symptoms that did not respond to ANYTHING. I felt worse than when I actually had the flu. It was taking 2 days out of my week. Something I can't afford with a husband, three kids a dog and being an elected official in my town (Board of Education). Apparently it was happening to a lot of people. Biogen said it was concentrated and had less volume, maybe that is why people reacted badly.
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prefilled syringes need work

Postby batpere » Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:10 am

The prefilled syringes often stick when you try to press the plunger. The regular syringes never had that problem.

Is 30 days out-of-the fridge for the powder really true? And safe?
Taking ice along on vacation just to keep it cold is a real pain, but
we've always done it to be safe.

After taking prefills, I got one more package of powder. The
expiration date on the package was only about 4 months out as
opposed to a year or more normally. Maybe now that they are making
powder again the stock will be more current. It is more inconvenient
to have to mix the stuff again after you get used to the prefills.

After expecting to have the bad reaction to prefills other people were
reporting, I was pleasantly surprised to feel no difference.
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going back to powder

Postby skwrlgrl » Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:16 pm

I just got off the phone with my neurologist! I started Tysabri last Friday and he was calling to let me know that it would be my one and only dose and that we needed to get back on something else. I had been on Avonex for 2 years, but was having a bad time with the side effects lately. Because of some breaks in my therapy, I hadn't made the connection between differences with the powder vs. the pre-filled. However, during my infusion on Friday, I was sharing the room with another MS patient who told me of a friend that had had a problem with the pre-filled. It finally dawned on me that the pre-filled syringes were likely to be my problem. In the first year, I remember that after a few weeks, my side-effects mostly went away. So, I'm going back to the powder and hopefully will be relatively side effect free after a month or so. I should mention that I won't be able to start it for another month because of the Tysabri complications. Oh well, a month with no needles - I can live with that.
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s/e with powder vs. pre-filled syringes

Postby texas_jim » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:15 am

ive found that the side effects (for me, at least) are alot worse withe the premixed syringes than with the powder whichhas to be reconstituted. the interferon is the same but the "inert" ingredients are different.

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