AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a)

Approved in Australia October 1999

AVONEX is used for the management of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. AVONEX treatment has been shown to:

  • Slow the usual progression of disability
  • Reduce the risk of relapse
  • Delay the onset of definite MS after an illness suggesting MS.
  • AVONEX belongs to a group of medicines called interferons. Interferons exist naturally in the body to help fight viral infections and regulate the body’s immunity. Although the exact mechanism of interferons in MS is unknown, it is thought that AVONEX works by decreasing the unwanted immune reaction against myelin.


Patients Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)
Healthcare Professionals Product Information (PI)

The cause of MS is not yet known. MS affects the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the body’s immune system reacts against its own myelin (the ‘insulation’ surrounding nerve fibres). In relapsing forms of MS, people have ‘exacerbations’ from time to time (eg. blurred vision, weakness in the legs or arms, or loss of control of bowel or bladder function). They are followed by periods of recovery. Recovery may be complete or incomplete. If it is incomplete there is ‘progression of disability’.