Switching from ABC to Rebif

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Rebif

Switching from ABC to Rebif

Postby seelie » Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:58 am

Well... after being on Avonex for what seem like eons... The neuros have decided to switch me over to Rebif....

He said I could take either Beta or Rebif - Didn't matter to him, just needed something stronger than Avonex (I guess he's one of the ones who believes more is better)

Now my actual question.... Since Rebif and Avonex are both Interferonbeta -1a how will this transition be for me? Has anyone else done this....

Do you start over with the interferon flu? I certainly hope not...

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Postby Guest » Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:24 am

I'm on rebif, never been on avonex. the flu symptoms I've had have been very manageable...ibuprofen and then to bed. and these only were noticeable for the first 2 months. I always feel fine the next day.

be prepared that you may have injection site reactions, however. red blotches that can last for several weeks. and pain...the actual injection of fluid can hurt a lot.
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switch to rebif from avonex

Postby Janice » Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:22 am

Hi all, has anybody switched from Avonex to Rebif out there, and if so, what were the results/effects you experienced? My doctor is recommending this course of treatment.
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Postby seelie » Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:51 pm

Well - Some initial reactions (having finished all my Avonex and taking 2 Rebif injections)

My initial reaction to the Rebif syringe - is - Hey, what's up with this funny little toy needle.... Folks who have been doing Avonex are going to like this part. The glass syringe is pretty doggone difficult to manage to push in the plunger as there isn't much to hold on to. That green thing they sent to help hold the syringe doesn't. I haven't tried the Rebiject thing and am not sure I want to....

I also don't like the packaging of the syringe compared to Avonex. The Avonex syringe packaging has a big hole in it, you can stick your finger in there and open it with ease. For Rebif -- there's this tiny little corner you have to pick with your fingernail. If you have a lot of spasticity or other 'touch' problems I could see where this could be even more difficult than it is....

As far as the injection - yes - it does burn a tad (but I'm only doing 8.8 mcgs now) which never happened with Avonex - I supposed because it was so deep in the muscle. I'm sure it's probably going to burn more as we increase the amount and the concentration.

Jury is still out on how 'poopey' I feel the day after the injection. It may take two months to find out. One month to ramp up to 44 mcg and another month at that concentration to see how I'm feeling each day.

=G
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I used to think that if I tried, I would drown.
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Packaging etc.

Postby oreo » Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:39 pm

The packaging is very secure. I have found that if you push that little tab first from the paper side all the way over and then the reverse, the plastic tab bit snaps right off leaving only the paper tab which you can then just peel off, no problem.

I don't suggest using the auto-injector. I used it for about the first 6 injections and that was the end of that.

As you move to the full dose the burn may get worse but I find an ice pack before and after helps a lot.

As for the rest of the nasty after-effects, so far redness and a little bruising and itchiness are about it. Felt a little queesy once or twice but nothing serious.

Good luck.
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Postby Guest » Wed Oct 20, 2004 8:15 pm

I think you have to keep in mind the reason for switching. I know all these little things, such as packaging, is important...but remember, Rebif has been shown to be more effective than Avonex. Avonex is a very low dose that has only been shown to be effect in mild forms of MS. In addition, in the head-to-head trial between the two drugs, flu-like symptoms were less with Rebif. Go for it and keep focused on the long term benefits. Any side effects start to disappate around 2 months. Good luck!
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rebif v avonex

Postby MeadowStream » Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:02 pm

As stated in another forum, rebif and avonex are the same molecule - both springing from Rentschler - so much the same that my memory is that Serono attempted to convince the FDA 8 years ago to let them use Biogen's data to support a BLA.

Avonex is the #1 drug for a reason: it has lower side effects due to its once/week dosing, and it has the best efficacy on the market along with the more frequently dosed rebif.

It is dosing that sets the 2 apart and some would argue that more frequent dosing results in higher levels of neutralizing antibodies. But, Avonex has bigger needles, so it is not for the squeamish!

What trial data are you referring to specifically? Can you point to a link? Thanks in advance,

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Postby bebe » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:15 pm

I dont have a link but the study is called the Evidence study and was required by the FDA to show that Rebif is more effective than Avonex. It also showed less flu-like symptoms, less depression, and less fatigue. There were more injection site reactions with Rebif because it is sub-q. Thats ok with me though, the needle is much smaller, much easier to take. Plus...its been show to be more effective...isnt that why we are all taking these medications.
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Postby dawny » Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:52 pm

I took Avonex for a little over a year and was didn't feel good the day after my shot. Switch to Rebif and have been on it since Jan. and have had no side effects I may be a little tired some days but that is all. Good Luck Dawn
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Rebif v Avonex

Postby MeadowStream » Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:32 pm

Each person is different and perhaps different dosing frequency and methodology works better for different people. If you look over at the Antegren forum you will see some pointers that show Rebif to be perhaps less effective for many over the long term because of NABs. But, if Rebif is working for some then that is great and what is hoped for.
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rebif

Postby mambo » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:45 am

:o hi all just noticed that some one picked up on the rebif packaging i thought it was only me who had problems my hands are pritty naff like i am wearing wolly gloves it really helps reading this site so pleased i found it. good luck seelie with your swith to rebif x
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Copaxone to Rebif??

Postby WRTC2007 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:05 pm

Hi I am a newly diagnosed with RRMS (July 2nd) After one month of Copaxone my new nuerologist is switching me to Rebif (nurse comes out tomorrow). I am real nervous about the flu stuff ( I have four children) . . . did any one read the package about what the drug is comprised of- it is actually hysterical "genetically modified Chinese hampster uterus cells!!!
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Postby Loriyas » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:42 am

Hi!
Can I ask why your neurologist switched you to Rebif on so short a time on Copaxone? Did you have a reaction to it?
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Postby WRTC2007 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:51 pm

The second nuerologist who requested a switch in treatment actually looked at my MRI (unlike my first) and said it was an issue of location. He reviewed my MRI and said based on the location of my lesions, Rebif was a more appropriate medication. He gave me the anaolgy of real estate . . . why is one house worth one million and the other worth two hundred thousand. . . Location:) The lesions on my upper spine (neck) are of concern and he feels Rebif is a better choice. The difference in doctors? My first diagnosis came from a general Nuerologist whilst the second opinion came from a Nuerologist who focuses on MS. Does that help?
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Postby Loriyas » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:11 pm

Thank you for letting me know that. It is interesting to know why physicians choose certain medications. It is good to know that he is an MS expert-they should be up on the newest medications.

Thanks
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