Betaseron is a medication used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. This medication will not cure multiple sclerosis, but it may be beneficial in reducing weakness and it may help to slow down the progression of the disease.
The medication works like the protein interferon that the body produces naturally. It is thought to affect the immune system in a variety of ways. Adding this medication may be beneficial in fighting multiple sclerosis' effects. Betaseron side effects are possible for all patients and it is always a good idea to get to know what these side effects are before starting the medication.
Since this medication is an injectable medication, injection-site reactions are possible. These may include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Other possible side effects may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and upset stomach. Flu-like symptoms are also common, such as headache, chills, tiredness, muscle aches, and fever when this medication is first started.
Serious, but unlikely side effects should be immediately reported to a doctor. These may include mental or mood changes, feeling too cold or too hot, gradual weight change that is unintended, and persistent tiredness. Others that require the patient to immediately notify a doctor include bleeding or bruising easily, signs of infection, dark urine, persistent nausea or vomiting, abdominal or stomach pain, and jaundice. These side effects are serious. If a patient experiences seizures or chest pain they must seek immediate medical attention. A severe allergic reaction is rare, but possible. If the patient ever has difficulty breathing, rash, severe dizziness, swelling, or any other signs and symptoms indicating a severe allergic reaction they must seek immediate medical attention.
In addition to Betaseron side effects, there are also contraindications with this drug. When pregnant, this medication should be avoided. Whether or no this drug passes into breast milk is unknown, therefore, it is not recommended when breastfeeding. Other contraindications include blood cell disorders, heart disease, liver disease, seizure disorder, alcohol or drug abuse, mental or mood disorders, and thyroid disorders.
Betaseron may interact with other drugs. These may include immune system-affecting drugs like cyclosporine or cancer chemotherapy, telbivudine, hydroxyurea, and theophyllines. The patient’s doctor most likely knows about the possible interactions, but to be on the safe side, patients should always tell their doctor about all other drugs they take, prescription and non-prescription, to help avoid interactions.
Throughout the time a patient is taking this medication they will go through period medical and laboratory testing. These tests are done to look for side effects and monitor the patient’s progress. These tests may include complete blood count, liver function tests, blood chemistry, and thyroid function tests.
RxList. (2010). Betaseron. Retrieved on November 20, 2010 from RxList: https://www.rxlist.com/betaseron-drug.htm
Drugs.com. (2010). Betaseron. Retrieved on November 20, 2010 from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/betaseron.html