Compare Aubagio vs. Avonex

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Aubagio
(Teriflunomide)

Avonex
(Interferon Beta-1A)

Treats relapsing forms of MS. Aubagio (Teriflunomide) is an oral medicine that effectively reduces the number of flare-ups, slows physical changes, and decreases the number of new brain lesions in relapsing MS. Because it stays in the body for so long, if you have a serious reaction or possible pregnancy you'll need to have it quickly removed with another medicine.Lowers the frequency of multiple sclerosis exacerbations. Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) is an injectable medicine effective for relapsing, remitting MS and has manageable side effects and weekly dosing.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Aubagio (Teriflunomide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)
36%
7% vs. Aubagio (Teriflunomide)
24%
2% vs. Aubagio (Teriflunomide)
33%
3% vs. Aubagio (Teriflunomide)
Have you used Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AubagioAvonex
  • Hair loss or baldness 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Alanine aminotransferase increased 7%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Headache 4%
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase increase 4%
  • Gastroenteritis viral 3%
  • Bladder infection 3%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Musculoskeletal pain 2%
More Aubagio side effects »
  • Flu-like symptoms 20%
  • Chills 14%
  • Fever 11%
  • Muscle pain 7%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Injuction site inflammation 4%
  • Low mood disorder 4%
  • Infection 3%
  • Chest pain 3%
More Avonex side effects »
How it works
AubagioAvonex
Aubagio (Teriflunomide) is an immune modulator. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for MS, but it seems to lower your white blood cells and keep them from attacking the nerves in your brain and spinal cord.Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) is an interferon that acts like the ones your body naturally makes. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but interferons activate your immune system to control immune responses that have gotten out of control.
Type of medication
AubagioAvonex
Multiple Sclerosis treatment
Pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor
Prescription only
Multiple sclerosis treatment
Immunomodulator
Prescription only
Available as
AubagioAvonex
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
AubagioAvonex
Risk factors for serious side effects
AubagioAvonex
  • Taking medicines that affect your liver or cause liver injury
  • Reaction to leflunomide
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking medicines that are toxic to the nervous system
  • Diabetes
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • History of depression or mental illness
  • Allergy to albumin
  • Prolonged use of Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)
  • Alcohol use
  • Taking drugs that are liver toxic
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
AubagioAvonex
No interactions related info.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) can cause flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, muscle pain) right after injections, lasting minutes or hours.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Watch for new or worsening depression or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose changes. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) has been reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions (severe rash, trouble breathing) and angioedema (life-threatening condition with swelling with or without hives). Get emergency care right away.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) can cause serious liver injury with the risk increasing during the first 6 months after you start. You'll need to have your liver enzymes tested at 1, 3, and 6 months. If liver enzymes are significantly elevated and you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, change in stool color, and skin rash, you should stop taking Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) until your doctor decides if it's safe to re-start.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) is not thought to cause adverse effects on the heart, but a small number of people with no history of heart problems developed heart failure and heart muscle weakness. Your doctor should watch you carefully especially when you start Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) then as long as you continue to take it.
  • Because Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) vial contains albumin, made from human blood, there’s an extremely low risk of transmitting a fatal brain disorder called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or other viral disease. People who have allergies to albumin shouldn't use the vial formulation of Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A). The prefilled syringe doesn't contain albumin and may be a better choice for albumin-sensitive people. Make sure you talk to your doctor first.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) hasn’t been studied in pregnant women, so the effects on your unborn baby are unknown. If you take it during pregnancy or breastfeed, it’s possible that some medicine may get into your baby’s blood. Talk to your doctor first and if you get pregnant while taking Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A), you'll need to enroll in the Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) pregnancy registry.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) can affect the bone marrow and lower your red and white blood cells and platelets to very low levels. When your blood cells and platelets levels drop too low, you are at more risk for infections, bleeding and bruising and will have to stop taking Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) until levels correct. You'll have to get your blood tested regularly at least every 6 months.
Food
AubagioAvonex
  • It comes a 7 mg and 14mg dose and only needs to be taken once a day, with or without food.
  • Take one capsule daily with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
AubagioAvonex
  • Not the best choice if you have liver problems or are on medications that affect the liver.
  • Liver blood tests need to be done for 6 months once you start taking Aubagio. If these tests are abnormal and liver damage is suspected your doctor will stop the medicine and tell you to start taking cholestyramine for 11 days to lower the toxic level.
  • Aubagio (Teriflunomide) has caused high blood potassium levels in people that also had acute kidney failure. Your doctor will do tests to check your potassium levels especially if you already have kidney problems.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) can cause serious liver injury with the risk increasing during the first 6 months after you start. You'll need to have your liver enzymes tested at 1, 3, and 6 months. If liver enzymes are significantly elevated and you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, and notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, change in stool color, and skin rash, you should stop taking Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) until your doctor decides if it's safe to re-start.
Pain
AubagioAvonex
No pain related info.
  • Flu-like reactions are the most common side effects and usually go away with continued treatment or can be avoided by using over-the-counter pain and fever-reducing medicines before the injection (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen).
  • Injection site reactions are common, ranging from localized pain, redness, and swelling to severe skin dryness.
  • Injection site reactions can be severe and include pain, redness, swelling, infection, and rarely, tissue death. In some cases, these reactions happened more than 2 years after starting Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A). They usually get better, but may need antibiotics or in severe cases, surgical treatment. It’s important that you follow instructions carefully and learn how to inject Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) correctly.
Upsides and benefits
AubagioAvonex
  • You can take it by mouth.
  • It comes a 7 mg and 14mg dose and only needs to be taken once a day, with or without food.
  • In clinical studies, Aubagio reduced relapses, slowed disability, and decreased the number of new brain lesions compared to sugar pill (placebo).
  • Although it may not work for everyone, most people felt it wasn't much of a hassle.
  • One of the main treatments for relapsing MS that has been around for many years.
  • Injections are given weekly, and not daily like other MS medications.
  • Helps reduce the frequency of MS relapse episodes.
  • Flu-like reactions are the most common side effects and usually go away with continued treatment or can be avoided by using over-the-counter pain and fever-reducing medicines before the injection (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen).
Downsides and risks
AubagioAvonex
  • Some people have nausea and diarrhea when they start treatment. In most cases, these effects are mild and get better over time.
  • Aubagio can cause your hair to thin. This is temporary, and your hair will go back to normal after a few months.
  • You should have certain lab tests to make sure you don't have any problems from taking Aubagio. These include: complete blood count and liver enzyme testing within 6 months before you start treatment, tuberculosis (TB) screening, and blood pressure.
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy), different from MS was reported more often than with sugar pill (placebo)
  • Aubagio may stay in your blood up to 2 years after you stop taking it. You can quickly remove Aubagio the accelerated elimination procedure, but symptoms of your disease may return.
  • You can't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Injection site reactions are common, ranging from localized pain, redness, and swelling to severe skin dryness.
  • Flu-like symptoms are common after interferon injections.
  • It's not clear what type of problems occur if taken during pregnancy.
  • Blood testing is required before and during use of Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A).
  • May not be as effective as other interferons.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AubagioAvonex
  • Take one capsule daily with or without food.
  • It's very important you read the Aubagio Medication Guide.
  • Most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea, hair thinning, and elevated liver blood levels.
  • Not the best choice if you have liver problems or are on medications that affect the liver.
  • Liver blood tests need to be done for 6 months once you start taking Aubagio. If these tests are abnormal and liver damage is suspected your doctor will stop the medicine and tell you to start taking cholestyramine for 11 days to lower the toxic level.
  • You'll need to have a TB test before you start taking Aubagio.
  • Can cause numbness and tingling of your hands and feet. Let your doctor know if this becomes a problem.
  • Aubagio increases your risk of infections so tell your doctor if you notice a fever, cough that doesn't go away, or flu-like symptoms. Get your blood counts checked 6 months before starting treatment.
  • Aubagio can also cause serious and life-threatening liver, lung, skin, kidney and blood pressure effects.
  • Aubagio will harm your unborn baby and is pregnancy category X. You must have a negative pregnancy test before starting Aubagio.
  • Both men and women are affected. If they want to have a baby both need to stop taking Aubagio and begin rapid removal process using cholestyramine or activated charcoal for 11 days. Without this process, Aubagio will stay in the body for up to 2 years.
  • Inject yourself once a week in your muscle (you need to go deeper than the fat layer between your skin and muscle).
  • Refrigerate the powder and pre-filled syringes and pens.
  • Don't shake the medicine once it is taken out of the refrigerator or mixed.
  • If using the pre-filled syringes, the tiny air bubbles won't hurt you.
  • Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A) can cause flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, muscle pain) right after injections, lasting minutes or hours.
  • Flu-like reactions usually go away with repeated treatments. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen 45 minutes before the injection can reduce the uncomfortable feeling.
Learn more
More about AubagioSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Aubagio (Teriflunomide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AvonexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it