Compare Avonex vs. Betaseron

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

Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)

Prescription only
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.

3.5/ 7 average rating with 33 reviewsforAvonex
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.

4.8/ 7 average rating with 21 reviewsforBetaseron
Upsides
  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Injection
Price
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$7018.93
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$6073.22
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Reviews
33 
36%
think this treatment is worth it
24%
think this treatment works well
33%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Avonex (Interferon Beta-1A)?

Leave a review
21 
57%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
38%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    57%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    49%
  • Myalgia
    28%
  • Asthenia
    24%
  • Pain
    23%
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Fever
    20%
  • Chills
    19%
  • Depression
    18%
  • Urinary tract infection
    17%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Lymphocytes count decreased (<1500/mm3)
    66%
  • Asthenia
    48%
  • Immunogenicity
    45%
  • Headache
    43%
  • Flu-like symptoms (complex)
    37%
  • Pain
    35%
  • Hypertonia
    33%
  • Injection site reaction
    26%
  • Fever
    19%
  • Leukopenia
    18%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression or mental illness

  • Serious allergic reaction

    Allergy to albumin

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Liver damage

    Alcohol use

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Heart problems

    History of heart disease

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

  • Risk to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver damage

    Alcohol use

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression or mental illness

  • Heart problems

    History of or current heart disease

  • Harm to fetus

    Women of childbearing age

  • Injection site reaction

    Not changing injection sites

  • Blood cell problems

    Bone marrow suppression

See more detailed risks and warnings