Also Known As: Interferon beta-1b, Betaseron, Extavia, Ziferon
Interferon beta-1b (tradenames Betaferon, Betaseron (North America), Extavia and ZIFERON) is a drug in the interferon family used to treat the relapsing-remitting and secondary-progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is approved for use after the first MS event. It is administered by sub-cutaneous injection and has been shown to slow the advance of the affliction as well as reduce the frequency of attacks.
It is believed that interferon-beta based drugs achieve their beneficial effect on MS progress via their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have also determined that interferon-beta improves the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB)â€”which generally breaks down in MS patients, allowing increasing amounts of undesirable substances to reach the brain. This strengthening of the BBB may be a contributing factor to interferon-beta's beneficial effects. These studies were carried out in vitro, so it does not necessarily mean it works the same in people.
Patients taking Interferon beta-1b may develop neutralizing antibodies to the medication.Reference link
Betaferon/Betaseron is marketed today by Bayer HealthCare. The originator was Schering AG (Berlex in North America), now part of Bayer HealthCare. Novartis has also introduced Extavia, a new brand of interferon beta-1b, in 2009.