Extavia Warnings and Precautions
Before starting treatment, warnings and precautions for Extavia should be reviewed. For example, this medication can increase the risk of depression, affect thyroid function, worsen liver disease, and decrease blood counts in some people. Before you start taking Extavia, tell your healthcare provider about all other medical conditions you have in order to help minimize risks.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Using Extavia?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Extavia® (interferon beta-1b) if you have:
- Depression or other mood disorders
- A blood disorder, such as anemia or low blood counts of any kind
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Thyroid problems
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warnings for ExtaviaWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medicine include the following:
- In rare cases, Extavia can cause dangerous allergic reactions. Report any symptoms of an allergic reaction immediately to your healthcare provider, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, itching, hives, or swelling.
- Interferon medications may increase the risk of depression (see Extavia and Depression). Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have depression or another mood disorder (such as bipolar disorder or manic depression), or if your depression seems to worsen, while you are taking Extavia.
- Let your healthcare provider know if you develop an open sore or an infection at an injection site. You may have to stop taking Extavia in some cases.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine if you have liver disease of any kind. Extavia can affect liver damage.
- Extavia can decrease blood counts in some people, leading to low white blood cells (which increases the risk of infection), anemia, low platelets (which increases the risk of bleeding), or other problems. Your healthcare provider should make sure you do not develop these problems by using a simple blood test.
- This medication contains human albumin, which could theoretically transmit viruses or other infectious diseases, since it comes from human blood. However, there has never been such a case of infection being passed through albumin.
- Extavia can affect thyroid function, sometimes unpredictably. If you have a history of thyroid problems, your healthcare provider should check your thyroid function every six months while you are taking this drug, using a simple blood test.
- This medication can interact with a few other drugs (see Extavia Interactions for more information).
- Extavia is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to take during pregnancy. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine when pregnant (see Extavia and Pregnancy).
- It is not known whether this medicine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking Extavia (see Extavia and Breastfeeding).