The FDA has approved Extavia (interferon beta-1b) to reduce the frequency of exacerbations in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Developed by Novartis, Extavia is also indicated for patients who have experienced a first clinical episode of MS and who have features consistent with the disease, as shown by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Along with their prescription for Extavia drug, patients will be given access to a support program, a nurse help line, one-on-one injection training, and an autoinjector from Novartis.
Extavia is the same medicinal product as Betaseron (Bayer/Schering). It is available in 12 European countries and is approved for relapsing-remitting MS, early MS, and secondary progressive MS with relapses. This drug should be used with caution in patients with depression. Patients should be advised of the importance of rotating injection sites.
Source: Novartis, August 17, 2009