Compare Betaseron vs. Copaxone

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

Betaseron
(interferon beta-1b)

Copaxone
(glatiramer)

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.Lowers the frequency of multiple sclerosis exacerbations. Copaxone (Glatiramer) is an injectable medicine that's effective for relapsing, remitting MS. It has fewer side effects than other meds, but the self-injections are needed frequently.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.81Betaseron
Reviews for Betaseron
57%
of people (All ages) say Betaseron is worth it
48%
say it works well
38%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Betaseron (interferon beta-1b)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Copaxone
50%
+7% better vs. Betaseron
37%
+11% better vs. Betaseron
27%
-11% worse vs. Betaseron
Have you used Copaxone (glatiramer)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BetaseronCopaxone
  • Immunogenicity 45%
  • Leukopenia 12%
More Betaseron side effects »
  • Injection Site Erythema 33%
  • Injection Site Pain 20%
  • Infection 28%
  • Injection Site Pruritus 23%
  • Injection Site Mass 20%
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Pain 3%
  • Vasodilation 15%
  • Rash 8%
  • Injection Site Edema 15%
More Copaxone side effects »
How it works
BetaseronCopaxone
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.Copaxone (Glatiramer) is an immune modulator that alters the immune process. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It's thought to "trick" out-of-control immune cells and slow their attacks on nerves.
Type of medication
BetaseronCopaxone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
BetaseronCopaxone
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
BetaseronCopaxone
Risk factors for serious side effects
BetaseronCopaxone
  • 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
Detailed Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Copaxone (glatiramer) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    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.

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Interactions
    BetaseronCopaxone
    • 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.
    • 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.
    No interactions related info.
    Pain
    BetaseronCopaxone
    • 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.
    • Injection site reactions can be common, including swelling, redness, pain, and rarely death of surrounding skin tissues.
    • Injection site reactions are common with pain, redness, swelling, and lipoatrophy (loss of fat under the skin where the injection is made).
    Upsides and benefits
    BetaseronCopaxone
    • 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).
    • One of the main treatments for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) that has been around for many years.
    • Helps reduce the frequency of MS relapse episodes.
    • Fewer side effects than other injectable MS medicines, like interferons.
    • Can be helpful in maintaining nerve functions.
    • Likely safe to use during pregnancy.
    • Copaxone (Glatiramer) is a possible treatment for primary-progressive MS (PPMS) even though the clinical evidence is not conclusive (there are currently no approved treatments for PPMS).
    Downsides and risks
    BetaseronCopaxone
    • 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.
    • Requires injections, either day or every other day (but no more than three times a week), depending on the dose you're taking.
    • Injection site reactions are common with pain, redness, swelling, and lipoatrophy (loss of fat under the skin where the injection is made).
    • Doesn't stop the progression of MS.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    BetaseronCopaxone
    • 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.
    • Inject yourself at the same time every day into your subcutaneous fat (the layer between your skin and muscle).
    • Injection site reactions are common. Symptoms include swelling, redness, and pain.
    • Rarely, can cause a fast and irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or flushing that usually goes away after 10-15 minutes.
    • You can keep syringes at room temperature for up to a month if you can't store them in the refrigerator.
    Learn more
    More about BetaseronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Betaseron (interferon beta-1b)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about CopaxoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Copaxone (glatiramer)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it