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Avonex

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) capsules to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

MS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system"...

Avonex

Avonex

INDICATIONS

AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis to slow the accumulation of physical disability and decrease the frequency of clinical exacerbations. Patients with multiple sclerosis in whom efficacy has been demonstrated include patients who have experienced a first clinical episode and have MRI features consistent with multiple sclerosis.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Dosing Information

AVONEX is administered intramuscularly.

The recommended dose is 30 micrograms once a week. To reduce the incidence and severity of flu-like symptoms that may occur when initiating AVONEX therapy at a dose of 30 micrograms, AVONEX may be started at a dose of 7.5 micrograms and the dose may be increased by 7.5 micrograms each week for the next three weeks until the recommended dose of 30 micrograms is achieved (see Table 1). An AVOSTARTGRIP™ kit containing 3 titration devices can be used for titration and is to be used only with AVONEX Prefilled Syringes.

Table 1: Schedule for Dose Titration

  AVONEX Dose1 Recommended Dose
Week 1 7.5 micrograms 1/4 dose
Week 2 15 micrograms ½ dose
Week 3 22.5 micrograms 3/4 dose
Week 4+ 30 micrograms full dose
1 Dosed once a week, intramuscularly

Important Administration Instructions (All Dosage Forms)

All AVONEX dosage forms are single-use (injection of reconstituted solution, prefilled syringe, and prefilled autoinjector). See Patient's Instructions for Use for complete administration instructions.

The first AVONEX injection should be performed under the supervision of an appropriately qualified health care professional. If patients or caregivers are to administer AVONEX, train them in the proper intramuscular injection technique and assess their ability to inject intramuscularly to ensure the proper administration of AVONEX.

Advise patients and caregivers to

  • rotate sites for intramuscular injections with each injection to minimize the likelihood of injection site reactions
  • NOT inject into an area of the body where the skin is irritated, reddened, bruised, infected or scarred in any way
  • Check the injection site after 2 hours for redness, swelling, or tenderness
  • Contact their doctor or nurse if they have a skin reaction and it does not clear up in a few days

A 25 gauge, 1” needle for intramuscular injection with AVONEX prefilled syringe or injection of reconstituted solution may be substituted for the 23 gauge, 1 ¼” needle by the healthcare provider, if deemed appropriate. A 25 gauge, 5/8” needle specific to the prefilled autoinjector is supplied with the AVONEX PEN Administration Dose Pack. DO NOT use any other needle with the autoinjector.

Use safe disposal procedures for needles and syringes. Do not re-use needles, syringes, prefilled syringes, or autoinjectors. Following the administration of each titrated dose, discard any remaining product.

Premedication for Flu-like Symptoms

Concurrent use of analgesics and/or antipyretics on treatment days may help ameliorate flu-like symptoms associated with AVONEX use.

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

For injection: 30 micrograms lyophilized powder in a single-use vial

  • Injection: 30 micrograms per 0.5 mL solution in a single-use prefilled syringe
  • Injection: 30 micrograms per 0.5 mL solution in a single-use prefilled autoinjector

Storage And Handling

AVONEX Lyophilized Powder Vial

A vial of AVONEX is supplied as a lyophilized powder in a single-use vial containing 33 micrograms (6.6 million international units) of interferon beta-1a; 16.5 mg Albumin (Human), USP; 6.4 mg Sodium Chloride, USP; 6.3 mg Dibasic Sodium Phosphate, USP; and 1.3 mg Monobasic Sodium Phosphate, USP, and is preservative-free. Diluent is supplied in a singleuse vial (Sterile Water for Injection, USP).

AVONEX lyophilized vials are available in the following package configuration (NDC 59627-001- 03): A package containing four Administration Dose Packs (each containing one vial of AVONEX, one 10 mL diluent vial, two alcohol wipes, one gauze pad, one 3 mL syringe, one MICRO PIN®* vial access pin, one 23 gauge, 1¼ inch needle, and one adhesive bandage).

Vials of AVONEX should be stored in a 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) refrigerator. Should refrigeration be unavailable, vials of AVONEX can be stored at 25°C (77°F) for a period of up to 30 days. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HIGH TEMPERATURES. DO NOT FREEZE. Protect from light. Do not use beyond the expiration date stamped on the vial. Following reconstitution, it is recommended the product be used as soon as possible within 6 hours stored at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). DO NOT FREEZE RECONSTITUTED AVONEX.

AVONEX Single-Use Prefilled Syringe

A prefilled syringe of AVONEX is supplied as a sterile liquid albumin-free formulation containing 30 micrograms of interferon beta-1a, 0.79 mg Sodium Acetate Trihydrate, USP; 0.25 mg Glacial Acetic Acid, USP; 15.8 mg Arginine Hydrochloride, USP; and 0.025 mg Polysorbate 20 in Water for Injection, USP. Each prefilled glass syringe contains 0.5 mL for Intramuscular injection.

AVONEX prefilled syringes are available in the following package configuration (NDC 59627- 002-05): A package containing four Administration Dose Packs (each containing one single-use syringe of AVONEX and one 23 gauge, 1¼ inch needle), and a recloseable accessory pouch containing 4 alcohol wipes, 4 gauze pads, and 4 adhesive bandages.

AVONEX in prefilled syringes should be stored in a 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) refrigerator. Once removed from the refrigerator, AVONEX in a prefilled syringe should be allowed to warm to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Do not use external heat sources such as hot water to warm AVONEX in a prefilled syringe. Should refrigeration be unavailable, AVONEX in a prefilled syringe can be stored at ≤ 25°C (77°F) for a period up to 7 days. Once the product is removed from the refrigerator, it must not be stored above 25°C (77°F). If the product has been exposed to conditions other than those recommended, DISCARD THE PRODUCT and DO NOT USE. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HIGH TEMPERATURES. DO NOT FREEZE. Protect from light. Do not use beyond the expiration date stamped on the syringe.

AVONEX PEN Single-Use Prefilled Autoinjector

AVONEX PEN is supplied as a sterile liquid albumin-free formulation containing 30 micrograms of interferon beta-1a, 0.79 mg Sodium Acetate Trihydrate, USP; 0.25 mg Glacial Acetic Acid, USP; 15.8 mg Arginine Hydrochloride, USP; and 0.025 mg Polysorbate 20 in Water for Injection, USP. Each single-use prefilled autoinjector contains 0.5 mL for intramuscular injection.

AVONEX PEN single-use prefilled autoinjectors are available in the following package configuration (NDC 59627-003-04): A package containing four AVONEX PEN Administration Dose Packs (each containing one AVONEX PEN autoinjector, one 25 gauge, 5/8 inch needle and an AVONEX PEN cover), and a recloseable accessory pouch containing 4 alcohol wipes, 4 gauze pads, and 4 adhesive bandages.

AVONEX PEN should be stored in a 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) refrigerator. Once removed from the refrigerator, AVONEX PEN should be allowed to warm to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Do not use external heat sources such as hot water to warm AVONEX. Should refrigeration be unavailable, AVONEX PEN can be stored at ≤ 25°C (77°F) for a period up to 7 days. Once the product is removed from the refrigerator, it must not be stored above 25°C (77°F). If the product has been exposed to conditions other than those recommended, DISCARD THE PRODUCT and DO NOT USE. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HIGH TEMPERATURES. DO NOT FREEZE. Protect from light. Do not use beyond the expiration date stamped on the prefilled autoinjector.

Manufactured by: BIOGEN IDEC INC., 14 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142 USA. Revised: 03/2013

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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