Rebif vs. Gilenya

Reviewed on 12/19/2019

Are Rebif and Gilenya the Same Thing?

Rebif (interferon beta-1a) and Gilenya (fingolimod) are used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

Rebif and Gilenya belong to different drug classes. Rebif is made from human proteins and Gilenya is a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator.

Side effects of Rebif that are different from Gilenya include injection site reactions (pain, swelling, or redness) and flu-like symptoms (such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, fever, chills, stomach pain, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches).

Side effects of Gilenya that are different from Rebif include headache, tired feeling, influenza, stuffy nose, sinus pain, diarrhea, back pain, liver transaminase elevations, and cough.

Both Rebif and Gilenya may interact with cancer medications and heart or blood pressure medications.

Rebif may also interact with alcohol, acetaminophen, aspirin, gout or arthritis medication (including gold injections), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, antifungal medicines, sulfa drugs, tuberculosis medicines, antiviral or HIV/AIDS medications, medicines to treat mental illness, seizure medications, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, anabolic steroids, and cholesterol-lowering medications.

Gilenya may also interact with citalopram, chlorpromazine, digoxin, erythromycin, haloperidol, ketoconazole, medications to control the immune system, and methadone.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Rebif?

Common side effects of Rebif include pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site. Flu-like symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, fever, chills, stomach pain, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches may occur when you first start Rebif. These symptoms usually improve or go away after a few months of continued use of Rebif. Some patients using interferon medications such as Rebif become depressed or have suicidal thoughts. Tell your doctor immediately if this occurs. Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Rebif including:

  • mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, rare thoughts of suicide),
  • vision changes,
  • gradual change in weight,
  • intolerance to cold or heat,
  • increased urination,
  • pus or change in skin color at the injection site,
  • signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat, cough),
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • fast or irregular heartbeat,
  • sudden increase in weight,
  • swelling hands/legs/feet,
  • severe stomach or abdominal pain,
  • yellowing eyes or skin, or
  • dark urine.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Gilenya?

Common side effects of Gilenya include:

  • headache,
  • tired feeling,
  • influenza,
  • stuffy nose,
  • sinus pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • back pain,
  • liver transaminase elevations, and
  • cough.

Gilenya can affect your immune system's ability to fight an infection while you are taking the medication and for 2 months after your last dose. Tell your doctor right away if you develop signs of an infection such as:

What Is Rebif?

Rebif (interferon beta-1a) Injection is made from human proteins and is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Rebif will not cure MS; it will only decrease the frequency of relapse symptoms. Common side effects of Rebif include pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site. Flu-like symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, fever, chills, stomach pain, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches may occur when you first start Rebif. These symptoms usually improve or go away after a few months of continued use of Rebif. Some patients using interferon medications such as Rebif become depressed or have suicidal thoughts. Tell your doctor immediately if this occurs.

What Is Gilenya?

Gilenya (fingolimod) is a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator used to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to reduce the frequency of exacerbations and to delay physical disability.

QUESTION

What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis? See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Rebif?

Rebif may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you take. Talk to your doctor about how to drink alcohol safely while using this medication. Rebif should not be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might become pregnant during treatment. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Gilenya?

Gilenya may interact with beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, citalopram, chlorpromazine, digoxin, erythromycin, haloperidol, ketoconazole, medications to control the immune system, medications for cancer, heart problems, or high blood pressure, and methadone. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Gilenya may cause fetal harm. It takes approximately 2 months for Gilenya to be eliminated from the body. Women should avoid pregnancy during treatment with Gilenya and for 2 months after treatment. It is not known if Gilenya passes into breast milk. Women and their doctors should decide whether to take Gilenya or breastfeed. Women should not do both.

How Should Rebif Be Taken?

The recommended dosage of Rebif is 22 mcg to 44 mcg injected subcutaneously three times per week. Rebif is intended for use under the supervision of a physician. Patients may self-inject only after proper training.

How Should Gilenya Be Taken?

The recommended dose for Gilenya is 0.5 mg orally once daily, with or without food.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Multiple Sclerosis? MS Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis See Slideshow
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References
EMD Serono. Rebif Product Information

www.rebif.com

Novartis. Gilenya Product Information

https://www.gilenya.com

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