REBIF question

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Sandy C.
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 10/22/2006 3:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok I have been recently switched to Rebif... so recent in fact I still have the script on my coffee table... I have taken Betaseron in the past for about 6 months and the side effects were terrible so I switched to Copaxone. I have recently came to the realization that, after over 1 year, Copaxone was ineffective for me, so I have stopped taking it!
I know that Rebif is like Betaseron in the fact that it is an interferon. I am familiar with the listed side effects. My concern is that I will have the side effects that I got with the Betaseron. With Betaseron, I was on disabilty for the entire 6 months that I took it because the fatigue was so great. I was extremely depressed, with suicidal ideation, as well as became hypertensive. I ended up taking over 14 pills a day to combat all the side effects of the Betaseron for me. I hear they say after 6 months the side effect lesson and life returns to a more normal state, but unfortunately, I was unable to stick it out any longer.
My question is for those that have/are taking Rebif. How are the side effects for you? If u have taken Betaseron in the past and can compare the side effects of each, I am curious to know what you think.
I am very hesitant to start Rebif because of my experience with Betaseron. I am in my final semester for my BSN and need my fatigue level to not get worse! lol i am recently married too =) and would like to have a few months with my new husband not wanting to kill myself! I am hoping to get a "no Rebif is TOTALLY diffrent," but I doubt it. I know that taking therapy is one of the few things I can do to fight back too... I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place...
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Copaxone SQ QD, Aricept 10 mg PO QD, Welbutrin XL 300mg PO QD, and Provigil 200mg PO BID.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 10/22/2006 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandy,
    I'm not sure how many people we have on Rebif right now, but hopefully someone will be along soon to answer your question.  I'm sorry you didn't notice any improvement with the Copaxone sad .  From what I've heard, Rebif and Betaseron do have similar side effects, but as you know not all medications work the same for everybody.  Good luck with the Rebif, I do hope it works better for you.
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/26/2006 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Sandy!

I have been taking Rebif since January 2004 (almost 2 years).  I am very fortunate in that I was able to "skip" most of the usual side effects.

I did 20% of my Rebif for 2 weeks (what an expensive waste), then 50% for another 2 weeks.  I use the auto-injector (Rebiject), and for the first couple of months I always took 1 Ibuprofen and 1 Tylenol a few hours before my injection.  I've always done my injection late in the evenings (around 10:00 PM) so that I could sleep through possible side effects.

I do my injections on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights so if we want to go away for the weekend I'm needle-free Friday and Saturday, and do not have to worry about it until Sunday night.

Others I know who had the side effects with Rebif said the problems lessened/ went away usually within 6 months.

Best of luck,


Tracey Lynn (TLC)
"I will get by. I will survive." - the Grateful Dead

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/26/2006 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed in June and started Rebif in August. Unfortunately I have nothing to compare it to. I have had NO side effects. With Bif you are assigned a Nurse who will visit periodically to get you going. You are also asked to pre-medicated. I use 2 aleve and am fine. I was told that 60% of Rebif users have no to very few side effects. Here is hoping that you do very well. One good tip is to make sure that the medication is room temp before injecting. I take my syringes out on Sunday night for the week. I inject on MWF. Last week my nurse told me that in 2007 Rebif injections will be able to stay out for up to 6 months so no more refridgerations. It is also good to have some aloe vera gel on hand for injection site reactions and stinging.
I hope that it is okay to share a link but this will be of help to you. It is a message forum for rebif users only so you should be able to reach those who have used other medications for comparison to ease your worries.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2006 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Sandy, I can't tell you that "Rebif is totally different". I would say that it's much worse! I personally would run from the Rebif!!!! I took Rebif for five months and was absolutely miserable the entire time! I think I had every known side effect and a few that had to be looked up! Thankfully, I did not have any problems with depression. I have now been on Betaseron for eight months and it's wonderful in comparison!

With the Rebif I was having injection site reactions as large as a softball in diameter (Beta is quarter sized) and it burned like crazy. I tried every trick before and after injection - heat, cold, orajel, dermaplast, alcohol, no alcohol, injecting after warming, leaving it out a week, antibiotic cream, corisone cream, etc. EVERYTHING suggested, I tried. I also began to have migraines after every injection. Then, I began to have migraines everyday with or without an injection the day before. I have migraines now even on the Betaseron, but they're very infrequent in comparison to when I took the Rebif.

I can relate to the school thing - I'm in grad school. If you're not having attacks, I would probably stick it out without meds until after you finish school. I've read about lots of people having decreased fatigue with Betaseron, but unfortunately, I've not been one of those lucky people.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Post Edited (moscrapbookqueen) : 10/29/2006 3:34:31 PM (GMT-7)

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