Compare Betaseron vs. Aubagio

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(Interferon Beta-1B)


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.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.
How it works
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.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.
Type of medication
Multiple Sclerosis treatment
Prescription only
Multiple Sclerosis treatment
Pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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Reviews for Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)
of people say Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Aubagio (Teriflunomide)
15% vs. Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)
20% vs. Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)
+5% vs. Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B)
Side effects
  • Low white blood cells 12%
More Betaseron side effects »
  • 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 »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
        • 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 »
              Pregnancy category
              CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. 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.

              See the FDA package insert
              XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

              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.

              See the FDA package insert
              • People taking Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) had liver injury and failure, some due to autoimmune hepatitis. There's a higher risk if you're taking medications or substances (e.g. alcohol) that hurt your liver. Talk to your doctor if you develop symptoms of nausea, vomiting, belly pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, or you notice yellowing of your skin/whites of eyes or dark urine, change in stool color, or skin rash. Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B). Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) can cause elevated liver enzymes with no symptoms. If levels increase significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or stop Betaseron (Interferon Beta-1B) completely.
              No specific alcohol-related info.
              No specific food-related info.
              • 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.
              Kidneys and liver
              No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
              • Aubagio can also cause serious and life-threatening liver, lung, skin, kidney and blood pressure effects.
              • People taking Aubagio (Teriflunomide) had temporary acute kidney failure thought to be due to high uric acid buildup in the kidneys (uric acid nephropathy). Kidney function started to decrease from 12 weeks to 2 years after the first dose, then returned to normal with continued dosing. It’s not completely clear is there were other reasons for this effect and people generally didn't have any symptoms.
              • 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 specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
              No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
              No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
              Upsides and benefits
              • 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).
              • 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.
              Downsides and risks
              • 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.
              • 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.
              Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
              • 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.
              • 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.
              Learn more
              More about BetaseronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              More about AubagioSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert