Compare Betaseron vs. Gilenya

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

Gilenya (Fingolimod)

Prescription only
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.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 21 reviewsforBetaseron
Treats relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

Gilenya (Fingolimod) is an oral medication that has a lot of side effects, but it reduces the number of flare-ups, slows physical changes, and decreases the number of new brain lesions in relapsing MS.

3.0/ 5 average rating with 57 reviewsforGilenya
Upsides
  • 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).
  • Gilenya (Fingolimod) is the first once-daily pill you can take for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Studies show it lowers relapse rates better than placebo and Avonex, and it delays the progression of physical disabilites better than placebo.
  • Gilenya also reduced the number of new MS lesions better than Avonex.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Taking more than the 0.5 mg dose won't give more benefits, but will only cause more side effects.
  • Gilenya can remain in your blood for up to 2 months after you stop taking it. Your immune response won't work as well during this time.
  • Not the best choice if you've had a heart attack, stroke, or have been in the hospital for heart failure in the past 6 months. The risk of serious heart rate effects is higher when taken with certain drugs (methadone, erythromycin, citalopram, ketoconazole) or if you have low potassium or magnesium.
  • If you have to re-start Gilenya after stopping it for 2 weeks or more, you'll have to take your first dose at your doctor's office again.
  • If you didn't get chicken pox and never had a vaccination, you'll need to be vaccinated and wait one month before starting Gilenya.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price
$6073.22
Find instant savings near you
Lowest price
$5558.31
Find instant savings near you
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
21 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
38%
saidit'sa big hassle

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

Leave a review
57 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
30%
saiditworked well
30%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Gilenya (Fingolimod)?

Leave a review
Side effects
49possible 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%
  • Insomnia
    16%
  • Incoordination
    15%
  • Rash
    15%
  • Myalgia
    14%
  • Abdominal pain
    11%
  • Peripheral edema
    10%
  • Chills
    9%
  • Skin disorder
    8%
  • Urinary urgency
    8%
  • Metrorrhagia
    7%
  • Impotence
    6%
  • Chest pain
    6%
  • Absolute neutrophil count decreased (< 1500/mm3)
    5%
  • White blood cell count decreased (<3000/mm3)
    4%
  • Hypertension
    4%
  • Alanine aminotransferase increased (SGPT > 5X baseline)
    4%
  • Lymphadenopathy
    3%
  • Dyspnea
    3%
  • Malaise
    3%
  • Alopecia
    2%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Arthralgia
    2%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Dyspepsia
    2%
  • Dysmenorrhea
    2%
  • Leg cramps
    2%
  • Menorrhagia
    2%
  • Myasthenia
    2%
  • Nausea
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Palpitations
    2%
  • Peripheral vascular disorder
    2%
  • Prostatic disorder
    2%
  • Tachycardia
    2%
  • Urinary frequency
    2%
  • Vasodilatation
    2%
  • Weight increase
    2%
See more detailed side effects
29possible side effects
  • Headache
    25%
  • ALT/AST increased
    14%
  • Influenza viral infections
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    12%
  • Back pain
    12%
  • Cough
    10%
  • Herpes viral infections
    9%
  • Bronchitis
    8%
  • Dyspnea
    8%
  • Depression
    8%
  • Sinusitis
    7%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Hypertension
    6%
  • Gastroenteritis
    5%
  • Paresthesia
    5%
  • Migraine
    5%
  • GGT increased
    5%
  • Weight decreased
    5%
  • Tinea infections
    4%
  • Bradycardia
    4%
  • Alopecia
    4%
  • Vission blurred
    4%
  • Lymphopenia
    4%
  • Asthenia
    3%
  • Eczema
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Blood triglycerides increased
    3%
  • Eye pain
    3%
  • Leukopenia
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver damage
    • Alcohol use
    • Taking drugs that are liver toxic
    • Active or history of liver disease
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression or mental illness
  • Heart problems
    • History of or current heart disease
  • Flu-like symptom complex
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Injection site reaction
    • Not changing injection sites
  • Blood cell problems
    • Bone marrow suppression
  • Albumin in the product
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart problems
    • Taking with drugs that slow heart rate
    • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Eye problems
    • Diabetes
    • History of eye inflammation (uveitis)
  • Risk to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Respiratory problems
    • History of respiratory problems
  • Liver problems
    • History of liver problems
See more detailed risks and warnings