Extavia® (interferon beta 1b)
Drug identification number (DIN): 02337819
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Extavia (interferon beta-1b) is a beta-interferon that is produced from bacterial cells using recombinant DNA techniques (a series of procedures used to join together DNA segments). Beta-interferon is a protein that occurs naturally in the human body in response to initiating factors such as viruses.
Extavia is indicated for the treatment of:
The recommended dose of Extavia for both relapsing-remitting and secondary-progressive MS is 0.25 mg injected under the skin (subcutaneously) every other day. People with CIS start on a lower dose of Extavia which is gradually increased every other day to 0.25 mg. The syringes are pre-filled with a salt-water solution to mix with the active medication, which is in a powder form.
The main effects of Extavia are to block the activity of certain immune system cells and to reduce the passage of these immune cells into the central nervous system, where they cause inflammation and damage to myelin (the insulating material that protects nerves and helps them work properly).
The most common side effects of Extavia therapy include
flu-like symptoms (fatigue, chills, fever, muscle aches, and
sweating) and injection site reactions (swelling, redness,
discolouration, and pain). Most of these symptoms tend to
improve over time.
This is not a comprehensive list of all possible side effects of Extavia. Please see the Extavia product monograph for a list of other potentially serious side effects. It is important that those with MS discuss side effects about any medication they are considering with their physician. (*Health Canada, product monograph for Extavia.)
Extavia is identical to Betaseron and the trial results are as for Betaseron.
The price of Extavia is approximately $18,000 per year. Much of the cost can be reimbursed through private and group health plans for people who meet the prescribing criteria, and through provincial drug programs for individuals who meet the prescribing criteria.
Further information for persons with MS is available through
Novartis Med Info line at 1-800-363-8883
Please discuss any other questions about treatment options with your physician.
Extavia® is a registered trademark of Novartis Pharmaceuticals