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What are the Common Avonex® Side Effects?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Avonex® is a prescription medication used to treat multiple sclerosis. This drug is typically given in the form of an injection once per week and may help to reduce the frequency and severity of the relapses associated with the disease. Common Avonex® side effects include cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever. Blood cell levels could be altered while taking this medication, and some people experience depression or liver damage while taking Avonex®.

Multiple sclerosis is a medical condition that is characterized by damage to the protective covering over the nerves of the body. This can lead to symptoms such as pain, vision problems, and cognitive issues such as difficulty focusing or communicating. Avonex® is used primarily to treat the relapsing-remitting forms of multiple sclerosis in an effort to keep the patient in remission as long as possible.

Flu-like symptoms are the most commonly reported Avonex® side effects. These side effects may include fever, chills, and muscle pain. Some patients may experience profuse sweating or feel extremely fatigued. These side effects tend to last for only a day or two following the injection. In many cases, these symptoms are at their worst following the first injection and lessen considerably with future injections. The severity of these side effects may be reduced by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever two hours before and two hours after an injection.

Liver damage is listed as one of the possible Avonex® side effects. For this reason, blood tests may be performed on a regular basis to make sure that the liver enzymes are not elevated, indicating possible liver damage. Regular medical monitoring can often detect liver problems before a significant amount of damage occurs.

Some potentially serious Avonex® side effects may occur, and the patient should report these side effects to a doctor right away. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are possible Avonex® side effects. Heart-related problems such as chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and extreme fatigue have also been reported. Vision problems, coordination issues, and seizures are also among the possible side effects.

Severe allergic reactions are not among the most common side effects of Avonex®, although when this does occur, it is considered a medical emergency. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve a rash, swelling of the face or tongue, or difficulty breathing. An allergic reaction can be fatal if not treated immediately, so prompt medical attention is vital.

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