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Understanding How Extavia Works and Pediatric/Off-Label Uses

How Does Extavia Work?

Extavia is a manufactured version of interferon and is almost identical to a naturally occurring human interferon. Interferons are naturally occurring proteins or glycoproteins (proteins attached to carbohydrates). In humans, they are produced by cells in response to certain situations, such as viral infections, and often play a key role in the immune system.
At this time, it is not fully understood how Extavia works to treat MS. Although the exact causes of multiple sclerosis are unknown, it is often considered an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the protective coating around nerve fibers. Extavia may work by limiting this immune system response, thereby decreasing damage to the nerves.
Because Extavia is a protein, it would be broken down and destroyed by the digestive system if taken by mouth. For this reason, the medication must be injected to bypass the digestive tract.

Extavia Use in Children or Teens

This drug is not approved for use in children or teens. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Extavia in children.

Off-Label Uses for Extavia

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Extavia for something other than multiple sclerosis. At this time, using the medicine to treat a type of MS other than a relapsing form is considered an off-label use. Also, the active ingredient in Extavia (interferon beta-1b) has been used experimentally for the treatment of HIV and certain cancers.
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Extavia Medication Information

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