Betaseron is the another one of the first set of abc drug treatments approved by the FDA for relapsing forms of MS. It's an interferon, specifically - interferon beta 1b.
This MS treatment is given by self-injection and taken every other day. It is a subcutaneous injection just like copaxone. We liked the fact that they sent a nurse to train him in giving himself the shot. Even though we had been giving Cir injections for the other medications, we still learned something from her training and suggestions than we had known before.
If it hadn't been for the side-effects, he probably would have stuck with it, just because the nurse was so nice. She was so professional and she genuinely cared if the medication worked for Cir. But because it is an interferon, Cir had flu-like symptoms while taking it, also.
He was sick ever other day. I'm sure you can see why he decided not to continue with it for very long. Sure the needle was shorter than the one for avonex. The time spent recovering from the every other day "flu" was a bit much. It left him with very little time when he felt well enough to do anything else.
He started his short time using the interferon after finding out about the company's pre-mixed syringes. He liked the idea of not having to deal with mixing up the solution. The side effects, as I said earlier, were the deciding factor.
Many others are able to handle the side-effects of this treatment as well as the other interferons. Cir, however, always had problems with them. Even after trying them for a few months, they never seemed to go away. If they had subsided to at least a tolerable level, I'm sure Cir would have tried to stick with them.
If you take interferon beta 1b or think you would like to try it, the company has a Patient Support Program called BetaPlus. (Link will open in a new window).
After the abc's, came Rebif. Like Avonex, it is an interferon beta 1a. I'll have to find out the difference between beta 1a and beta 1b interferon's and let you know.