Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Drugs
Avonex ® (interferon beta-1a)
What is Avonex ® ?
Avonex ® is a drug used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is from a class of drugs known as interferons.
Interferon beta-1a is a recombinant DNA produced synthetic of
naturally occurring proteins.
Interferons are cytokines. Three major classes of interferon have been identified - interferon alpha, interferon beta and interferon gamma. Interferon alpha and beta form the Type I class of interferons and Interferon gamma is a Type II interferon.
Indicated and approved for use in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are Interferon beta-1a and Interferon beta-1b.
Interferons are species specific. In other words, the effects and results of interferon therapy and animal experimentation is difficult to apply across the human-animal species barriers since the effects they have within any given species are different.
The specific interferon-induced proteins and mechanisms by which interferon beta-1a exerts its effects in multiple sclerosis (MS) have not been fully defined.
Avonex ® is administered by intramuscular injection (injection directly into the muscle) once weekly.