Compare Aubagio vs. Betaseron

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

Aubagio
(Teriflunomide)

Betaseron
(Interferon Beta-1B)

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 MS exacerbations. Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) is an injectable medicine effective for relapsing, remitting MS with fewer side effects and every other day dosing.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Aubagio (Teriflunomide)?
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Have you used Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)?
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Side effects
AubagioBetaseron
  • Hair loss or baldness 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Mild hypophospatemia 9%
  • Alanine aminotransferase increased 7%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Headache 4%
  • Moderate hypophospatemia 4%
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase increase 4%
  • Gastroenteritis viral 3%
  • Bladder infection 3%
More Aubagio side effects »
  • Low white blood cells 12%
More Betaseron side effects »
How it works
AubagioBetaseron
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.Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) is a man-made interferon that's similar to what your body naturally makes. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for MS, but interferons activate your own immune system to control immune responses that have gone out of control.
Type of medication
AubagioBetaseron
Multiple Sclerosis treatment
Pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor
Prescription only
Multiple Sclerosis treatment
Immunomodulator
Prescription only
Available as
AubagioBetaseron
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
AubagioBetaseron
Risk factors for serious side effects
AubagioBetaseron
  • 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
      • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
      • Age 60 or older
      • Weak immune system
      • High uric acid levels
        • Acute kidney failure
        • History of lung disease
        • History of high blood pressure
        Detailed Aubagio (Teriflunomide) risks & warnings »
        • Alcohol use
        • Taking drugs that are liver toxic
        • Active or history of liver disease
          • History of depression or mental illness
          • History of or current heart disease
            • Women of childbearing age
            • Not changing injection sites
            • Bone marrow suppression
              Detailed Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) 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
              AubagioBetaseron
              No interactions related info.
              • Interferon beta-1b has been shown to be more effective than Avonex in reducing new lesions, which lowers relapse and disease progression in people with RRMS.
              • Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) has been reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions (severe rash, trouble breathing) and rarely, angioedema (life-threatening condition with swelling with or without hives). If you develop these symptoms after your dose or days later, call your doctor and get medical emergency care right away.You may need to stop taking Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B).
              • Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) 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.
              • Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) is not thought to cause adverse effects on the heart, but people taking it who didn't have heart problems developed heart failure and heart muscle weakness. Your doctor will do tests to check your heart function. Tell your doctor if you have ankle swelling, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, tightness in your chest or aren't able to lie flat in bed at night because you can't breathe.
              • People who start Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) report flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness. Taking a pain reliever or fever reducer like Tylenol or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Motrin may help. Be sure to ask your doctor first.
              • Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) can harm your unborn baby. There's also a risk you can lose your baby (miscarry). Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. You and your doctor should discuss if you should continue or stop taking Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B).
              • Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) can lower the number of blood cells that help you fight infection and clot blood. White blood cells, red blood cells and platelets can all be affected. Tell your doctor if you feel tired, bruise easily or have any bleeding. you'll need to have blood tests to make sure they don't get too low.
              Food
              AubagioBetaseron
              • 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
              AubagioBetaseron
              • 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.
              No kidneys and liver related info.
              Pain
              AubagioBetaseron
              No pain related info.
              • Injection site reactions can be common, including swelling, redness, pain, and rarely death of surrounding skin tissues.
              • Injection site reactions can be severe and include pain, redness, swelling, and tissue death. In some cases they need surgical treatment and may not heal, causing scarring. Reactions happen in the first 4 months up to a year after starting and tend get better over time. don't inject into any area that’s not completely healed. If there are several areas, stop taking Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) until you have a chance to heal. It’s important that change your injection sites often, follow instructions carefully and learn how to inject it correctly.
              Upsides and benefits
              AubagioBetaseron
              • 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.
              • Interferon beta-1b was the first disease modifying agent for MS approved by the FDA to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
              • In short and long-term follow-up studies, Interferon beta-1b was shown to slow MS progression, reduce the number of flair-ups and increase overall survival.
              • Convenient every-other-day dosing and refrigeration-free storage (before mixing) is less of a hassle.
              • Interferon beta-1b has been shown to be more effective than Avonex in reducing new lesions, which lowers relapse and disease progression in people with RRMS.
              • May be a treatment option for people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).
              Downsides and risks
              AubagioBetaseron
              • 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.
              • Requires injections.
              • Injection site reactions are common. Symptoms range from pain, redness, and swelling to severe reactions with skin death around the injection site.
              • Flu-like symptoms are common after interferon injections, but are less likely with Interferon beta-1b in particular.
              • Blood testing required before and during use based on your other conditions.
              • Unclear consequences to fetus during pregnancy.
              Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
              AubagioBetaseron
              • 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.
              • Every-other-day injections to the fatty layer under your skin.
              • Store the powder for reconstitution at room temperature.
              • Don't shake the medicine after reconstitution.
              • Can cause flu-like symptoms (headache, fever, muscle pain) right after injections lasting minutes or hours.
              • Flu-like reactions usually goes away with repeated treatments, or taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen 45 minutes before the injection to reduce the uncomfortable feeling.
              • Injection site reactions can be common, including swelling, redness, pain, and rarely death of surrounding skin tissues.
              Learn more
              More about AubagioSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Aubagio (Teriflunomide)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it
              More about BetaseronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it