The recommended Avonex dosage for the treatment of multiple sclerosis is 30 mcg injected into a muscle once a week. Your healthcare provider may also recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever on the days that you inject Avonex (since flu-like symptoms are common side effects). Try to make sure to inject your Avonex dose at the same time each week.
There is only one standard dose of Avonex® (interferon beta-1a). As always, do not adjust your Avonex dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended Avonex dose for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) is 30 mcg injected into a muscle once weekly. Because flu-like symptoms are common Avonex side effects, many healthcare providers recommend taking a non-prescription pain reliever/fever reducer on the days you inject Avonex. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is often recommended for this use.
Considerations for people taking Avonex include the following:
- Avonex comes as an injection. It is injected into a muscle (intramuscularly) once a week.
- It does not matter if you take Avonex with food or on an empty stomach. Also, it does not matter what time of the day you inject Avonex (although it is a good idea to inject it at the same time each week).
- Avonex comes in prefilled syringes or in vials with dry powder that must be mixed first. If you will be using the vials, your healthcare provider should show you exactly how to mix the injection. It is important to follow the instructions carefully, in order to prevent contamination of the injection.
- If you and your healthcare provider desire, you (or a friend or relative) can give the Avonex injections. In this case, your healthcare provider should teach you exactly how to inject Avonex.
- The best places to inject Avonex are in the thighs (either on the tops or sides) or the upper arm. If you give the injections to yourself, you will not be able to use the upper arm. You should rotate injection sites, which means that you should not inject the same part of the body two weeks in row.
- Avonex comes with a 23 gauge, 1.25 inch needle. If you and your healthcare provider prefer, you may use a thinner and shorter needle (25 gauge, 1 inch), although these must be purchased separately.
- Never shake Avonex (even when mixing the vials). Avonex is a delicate molecule that can be destroyed by shaking.
- Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the best ways to dispose of used needles and syringes in your area.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Avonex will not work if you stop taking it.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your Avonex dosage, please talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.