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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

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Avonex (interferon beta-1a)

Audience: Neurologists and other healthcare professionals

FDA and Biogen notified healthcare professionals of revisions to the WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS/Drug Interactions and ADVERSE REACTIONS/Post-Marketing Experience sections and Medication Guide. Severe hepatic injury, including cases of hepatic failure, has been reported in patients taking Avonex. Asymptomatic elevation of hepatic transaminases has also been reported, and in some patients has recurred upon rechallenge. In some cases, these events have occurred in the presence of other drugs that have been associated with hepatic injury. The potential risk of Avonex used in combination with known hepatotoxic drugs or other products (e.g. alcohol) should be considered prior to Avonex administration, or when adding new agents to the regimen of patients already on Avonex.

[March 2005 - Letter - Biogen]