Rebif vs. Tysabri

Reviewed on 12/20/2019

Are Rebif and Tysabri the Same Thing?

Rebif (interferon beta-1a) Injection and Tysabri (natalizumab) are used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

Tysabri is also used to treat moderate to severe Crohn's disease in adults. Tysabri is usually given after other Crohn's disease medications have been tried without successful treatment of this condition.

Rebif and Tysabri belong to different drug classes. Rebif is made from human proteins and Tysabri is a monoclonal antibody.

Side effects of Rebif and Tysabri that are similar include injection site reactions (pain, swelling, irritation, or redness).

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

Side effects of Tysabri that are different from Rebif include headache, tired feeling, joint or muscle pain, swelling hands/feet/ankles, changes in menstrual cycle, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rash, depression, painful menstrual cramps, and cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat.

Rebif may 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, cancer medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, and heart or blood pressure medications.

Tysabri may interact with interferon, cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, basiliximab, efalizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, leflunomide, etanercept, and chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

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 Tysabri?

Common side effects of Tysabri include:

  • headache,
  • tired feeling,
  • joint or muscle pain,
  • redness or irritation at the injection site,
  • swelling hands/feet/ankles,
  • changes in menstrual cycle,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • skin rash,
  • depression,
  • painful menstrual cramps, or
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat.

Tell your doctor if you have side effects while Tysabri is being given or shortly after your treatment is finished (infusion reaction) including:

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 Tysabri?

Tysabri (natalizumab) is a monoclonal antibody used in to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Tysabri is also used to treat moderate to severe Crohn's disease in adults. Tysabri is usually given after other Crohn's disease medications have been tried without successful treatment of this condition.

QUESTION

What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis? See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Rebif?

Rebif may interact with oher 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 Tysabri?

Tysabri may interact with other medicines, especially those that may affect the immune system such as: interferon, cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, basiliximab, efalizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, leflunomide, etanercept, or chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

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 Tysabri Be Taken?

The recommended dose of Tysabri for multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease is 300 mg intravenous infusion over one hour every four weeks.

SLIDESHOW

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

www.rebif.com

Biogen. Tysabri Product Information

https://www.tysabri.com

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