why betaseron?

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Betaseron

why betaseron?

Postby ga_kristy » Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:33 am

what made you choose betaseron over the other CRABS? My son will have to start one soon, and Im torn between which one we should go with. His Dr. asked me to research them and decide. They both have good and bad sides. Side effects, times etc.

Maybe you all could give me more ideas on which one?
Thank you.

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Postby FRM » Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:45 am

Hi Kirsty,

I am relatively mild rrms'r and have been on betaseron for almost two years. I cannot claim how well the medication is working but from a practical perspective I hope this is of assistance....

Initially the side effects pretty rough but nothing unexpected. The worst part was the sudden relapse which for me was a combination of all other attacks (but apparently it was a sign the drug was working according to my neuro)

The flu like symptoms disappeared after about another month (just keep taking the paracetemol)

The only draw back is the frequency! (every 2nd day) over similar betaferons which are weekly. Trying to rotate injection sites can be difficult especially if there is no one around to help!!

So after a few initial problems its all good. The most important thing though is to have a good support group around. If you elect this drug over other options it is important to have as many people as possible comfortable administering as your son won't be able to find all the sites available eg back of the arms and given the frequency required using all the sites is important to avoid site problems.

In terms of day to day issues it is much easier these days to travel etc. The drug no longer requires refrigeration and make sure you get one of the portable needle disposal units (kind of like a stapler).

I'm in Ireland and found the Support Nurse a great help in all these practical issues. So make sure there are plenty of people around aware of the situation.

When prescribed the drug my Neuro didn't offer the choice but she also perscribes another betaferon, rebif I think. At the time she said that she did not see any real difference between the two. My only concern at the time was that taking a betaferon would preclude me from future options such as Tysabri which my neuro confirmed it would not.

Best of luck with whatever you choose, but don't take too long in deciding. I'm sure you know the sooner your son is on something the better.
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Postby treez » Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:02 pm

1) longest history here in US. No unexpected side effects. (ie: PML & Tysabri)

2) Short needle vs. Avonex

3) Less site pain and reactions compared to Rebif

4) Copaxone is every day.

These were my deciding factors. My wife is a pharmacist so I also get feedback from her.....and she hears it from the patients that come to have RX's filled.

As for site rotation, I have settled on the arms, hip, legs. The stomach hurt too much. Have only ever had one site reaction and it was no big deal.....just a bruise once. Use your regular calendar and just put letters for site locations. I use LA= left arm / LH= left hip / RL= right leg....etc

Does one work better???? Who knows, they all have 30% - 35% as advertised effectiveness. Pretty crummy really.

I've been taking Betaseron for about 1 1/2 years.

USe the Autoject....makes it easier to get used to.

Dose titration is also supposed to be important when starting to avoid the bad side effects. Ask Doc about this. Seemed to work for me, I don't have any side effects ever. Sometimes just feel like I didn't have a great nights sleep the night before. Never take NSAID drugs either (no need).

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Postby JFH » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:14 am

Betaferon/Betaseron doesnt need to be refridgerated just kept in normal meds cupboard. A minor consideration but since seemingly there is no difference in efficacy between any of the CRABs then little points help in the choice.
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