Berlex, which makes Betaseron (interferon beta-1b), has issued a warning regarding the drug’s adverse effects on the liver. Used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis, the drug can cause autoimmune hepatitis, leading to kidney failure, and extensive liver damage, requiring transplantation.
Since its launch in 1993, Betaseron’s prescribing info has always included a recommendation for regular liver-function tests. However, Berlex decided to send a reminder of the drug’s noxious effect on the liver “in view of the heightened attention [over] the safety profile of MS therapies.
Other commonly reported side-effects are low blood lymphocytes, injection-site reaction, weakness, flu-like symptoms, headache and pain