Like all medicines, Rebif can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Tell your doctor immediately and stop using Rebif if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
Serious allergic hypersensitivity reactions. If, immediately following Rebif administration you experience a sudden difficulty breathing, which may appear in association with swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat, nettle rash, itching all over the body, and a feeling of weakness or faintness, contact your doctor immediately or seek urgent medical attention.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following possible symptoms of a liver problem jaundice yellowing of the skin or of the whites of the eyes, widespread itching, loss of appetite accompanied by nausea and vomiting and easy bruising of the skin. Severe liver problems can be associated with additional signs, e.g. difficulty concentrating, sleepiness and confusion.
If you feel very depressed or develop thoughts of suicide, report it immediately to your doctor.
Side effects may occur with certain frequencies, which are defined as follows very common affects more than 1 user in 10 common affects 1 to 10 users in 100 uncommon affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000 rare affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000 very rare affects less than 1 user in 10,000 not known frequency cannot be estimated from the available data.
Flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, chills, muscle and joint pains, fatigue and nausea are very common. These symptoms are usually mild, are more common at the start of the treatment and decrease with continued use. To help reduce these symptoms your doctor may advise you to take a fever reducing painkiller before a dose of Rebif and then for 24 hours after each injection.
Injection site reactions including redness, swelling, discoloration, inflammation, pain and skin breakdown are very common. The occurrence of injection site reactions usually decreases over time. Tissue destruction necrosis, abscess and mass at injection site are uncommon. See recommendations in section Take special care with Rebif to minimise the risk of injection site reactions. The injection site can become infected frequency not known the skin may become swollen tender and hard and the whole area could be very painful. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor for advice.
Certain laboratory tests may change very common. These changes are generally not noticed by the patient no symptoms, are usually reversible and mild, and most often do not require particular treatment. The number of red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets may decrease. Possible symptoms resulting from these changes could include tiredness, reduced ability to fight infection, bruising or unexplained bleeding. Liver function tests may be disturbed. Inflammation of the liver has also been reported frequency not known. If you experience symptoms suggesting a liver disorder, such as loss of appetite accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, jaundice, please contact your doctor immediately see above Tell your doctor immediately....
Depression is common in treated patients with multiple sclerosis. If you feel depressed, please contact your doctor immediately.
Thyroid dysfunction is uncommon. The thyroid gland may function either excessively, or insufficiently. These changes in the thyroid activity are almost always not felt by the patient as symptoms, however your doctor may recommend testing as appropriate.
MS pseudo-relapse frequency not known There is a possibility that at the beginning of your treatment with Rebif you may experience symptoms that resemble those of a multiple sclerosis relapse. For example, your muscles may feel very tense or very weak, preventing you from moving as you want. In some cases such symptoms are associated with fever or flu-like symptoms described above. If you notice any of these side effects talk to your doctor.
Other possible side effects include:
Common Insomnia sleeping difficulty Diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting Itching, rash skin eruptions Muscle and joints pain Fatigue, fever, chills
Frequency not known Allergic hypersensitivity reactions Face swelling, hives Suicide attempt Epileptic seizures Serious skin reactions - some with mucosal lesions Liver inflammation hepatitis Hair loss Breathing difficulties Blood clots such as deep venous thrombosis Disorders of the retina back of the eye such as inflammation or blood clots with consequent vision disorders vision disturbances, loss of vision Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura Haemolytic uremic syndrome a disorder that may present with small blood clots, increased bruising, bleeding, decreased platelets, anaemia, extreme weakness, and renal disorders.
The following side effects were reported for interferon beta frequency not known Dizziness Nervousness Loss of appetite Dilatation of the blood vessels and palpitation Irregularities andor changes in menstrual flow.
You should not stop or alter the medication without your doctor?s advice.
If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.