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Avonex vs. Tecfidera (BG-12) for MS

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Avonex

Rx
/ 25,231 posts
Other Names: Rebif   Interferon Beta-1a

Tecfidera (BG-12)

Rx
/ 5,739 posts
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Based on 25,231 patient discussions on healthcare websites and blogs
Learn more
Rating: 3 out of 5
Based on 5,739 patient discussions on healthcare websites and blogs
Learn more
Interferon beta-1a (also interferon beta-1-alpha) is a drug in the interferon family used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). It is produced by mammalian cells while Interferon beta-1b is produced in modified E. coli. Interferons have been shown to h... Read more on Wikipedia
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Concern level
Top 3 Concerns
Flu Like Symptoms
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Headaches
Flu
Concern level
Top 3 Concerns
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
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Nausea
Itching
See all concerns, alternative treatments and more
See all concerns, alternative treatments and more
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Help people by sharing experiences you've had with Avonex or Tecfidera (BG-12) - your story could impact others.
Treato My Voice
By Kim
December 15, 2014
Kim wrote
Low White Blood Count on Tecfidera
Yes, I have...I have been on it for 4 mos andand my white blood cell count went way down also.
I am going to see my neurologist tomorrow as he will research this and let me know what we are doing. I LOVE the drug..NO MORE shots...and hope he does NOT take me off the meds
Andy  |  December 16, 2014
Comment on this post
By Kim
December 15, 2014
Kim wrote
Tecfidera
Comment on this post
By Sharon
November 25, 2014
Sharon wrote
side effects
Comment on this post
By Avonexveteran
October 2, 2014
Avonexveteran wrote
Avonex has worked for me
Comment on this post
By Ratsy70
August 9, 2014
Ratsy70 wrote
Just started Techfidera
Comment on this post
By Nata
August 2, 2014
Nata wrote
1st day on Tecfidera
I'm on week two and I have the same lethargy and fatigue described above, so you aren't alone there. Does anyone know if side effects get better or worse with time?
Joe  |  December 20, 2014
I started taking it in May of '14 & no rash or stomach pain. I am sleepy all the time. I could fall asleep tight now. Not sure it's a side effect but was not like this a year ago. Best of luck! I'm here for you XXXX@aol.XXXcom Richie
Richie  |  August 24, 2014
Hang in there...it gets better...
August 20, 2014
Took 2nd dose tonight - Yes, I feel sleepy too. With my first dose this morning - I also turned beet red all over (rash), had some flushing and mild itch. With 2nd dose - My throat feels weird but no flushing and I don't have the rash.
Crystal  |  August 10, 2014
Comment on this post
By Leslie
July 24, 2014
Leslie wrote
Allergic reaction to Tecfidera
Yes, I have been on Tecfidera for about a year and a half and I too experience the flushing and rash. It is very annoying and I am considering stopping it. I reported my symptoms to my neuro and he reported it to the drug company along with pictures of the rash. Supposedly no one else has experienced the rash. Obviously, that is not true.
Flushed  |  December 2, 2014
I started Tecfidera July 2014 and had terrible nausea. I spoke to the pharmacist at the drug company and was told to try Nauzeen, a "natural" anti nausea medicine. Three days later I was covered in a rash, including swollen lips. Called the drug company again and was also told they had never heard of an allergic reaction. Went off the meds for a week, got a steroid shot and a round of steroids. The best anybody could come up with is I must have been allergic to the dyes or fillers in the anti n
Cathy Gear  |  November 30, 2014
I have started getting daily allergic reaction type rashes. Don't seem to get them (at least not as bad) if I take allergy medicine too. Mine tend to last about an hour & then go away. but it is hot, red, itchy...awful when it happens.
November 12, 2014
restarted Tecfidera after a week since my last dose. A few hours after taking first dose, I was completely red all over. Changed clothes into something more loose and sat under a fan. My second dose, a few hours later, I could feel it again and started watching myself turn red again. Drank ice water, and used moist towel to cool my skin. Redness reduced within an hour. Never had it happen when I started it, but maybe being off for a week and then restarting at the full dose was too much
msfireant  |  October 25, 2014
Try taking a low dose aspirin a half hour before each dose, and take it on a full stomach, with peanut butter, or some other healthy fat. It helps with absorption, and prevents flushing. If it continues, try taking Zyrtec once a day. It may just be that Tec isn't for you, in which case, there are other pills, such as Gilenya and Aubagio. But, Tec has less side effects, so I would try to see if the rash will go away, first.
August 17, 2014
I had a rash with red spots on my right leg. I was taking Tecfidera and amoxicllin. My doctor thinks its impetigo, but there is no discharge. I remember I was on medication once and had the same kind of reaction. Not sure if this helps, but thought I would mention it anyway. No flushing but rash on one leg with mild itching. Was told if its get worse to go to dermatology. I have finished the amoxicillin and rash is disappearing.
Unsure  |  August 11, 2014
Comment on this post
By 2
June 11, 2014
2 wrote
My first week
1000views
Yikes! Hair loss?!
Nata  |  August 2, 2014
One of the things that can be problematic is taking the Tecfidera while on an antibiotic. Tecfidera is an Immune suppressant So the antibiotics and and Tecfidera don't work together. Tecfidera slows down the immune system and antibiotics speed it up.
Ginger  |  July 18, 2014
Comment on this post
By Verna
May 3, 2014
Verna wrote
Tecfidera and weight loss
1708views
Yes, I have been on it for almost 4 mos and lost 10 lb...but I actually LIKE that side effect.
Andy  |  December 16, 2014
Nice, are now welcoming the comments about its initial decision of the groups of patients, health professionals and others. I suggest you to join that discussion about Tecfidera healthauthoreviews.com
elizaissac  |  September 22, 2014
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By Myachinghead
January 16, 2014
Myachinghead wrote
Migraine
1466views
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By Martha Jones
December 30, 2013
Martha Jones wrote
Nanaforsame@yahoo.com
1436views
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By Vanessa
December 17, 2013
Vanessa wrote
Weight Loss
2438views
Loss of appetie almost immeadiatly. After 2.5 weeks, I need to set a timer to remember to eat.
JHS  |  June 25, 2014
I have been on Tec 2 weeks and am experimenting weight gain w/ hunger.
Lilly  |  April 4, 2014
I started on the tec November 2013, and started dropping a little weight consistently until I stopped it just 2 weeks ago. I would have stayed on it but for the other side effects- debilitating nausea, headaches, tooth and gum lesions and pain and hair loss. When I was asked by someone if I had cancer (because of the weight loss) that was enough for me. I should have known better than to consume cleaning products even if they have "reformulated" it and put it in a capsule. I'm getting tir
Cyndie  |  March 29, 2014
Why Tec? I see no weightloss info on it...
Ramprat  |  February 26, 2014
I've been on Tecfidera about four months now and have lost 20 pounds. While I walk miles and miles every day and eat really well, I haven't really changed diet or exercise.
Kristin  |  January 28, 2014
I've been on Tec for over 3 months now. I've lost about 15lbs w/o dieting or much exercise. Going to see the dr soon
SoccerDad  |  January 26, 2014
Comment on this post
By Linda
December 12, 2013
Linda wrote
Tecfidera
1825views
Feeling the same regarding MS meds. I've been off of Copaxone (injections) for almost 8 years. We just had 2 car accidents and I'm so fearful of more flareups so I began Tecfidera the other day. Yes, the flushing, itchy deal is a nuisance but it's the effect of being tired that I'm having a hard time with. Not at all happy about that! It's bad enough when MS symptoms create a sluggish feeling, now that coupled with this med, stinks.
Nata  |  August 2, 2014
One of the things that can be problematic is taking the Tecfidera while on an antibiotic. Tecfidera is an Immune suppressant So the antibiotics and and Tecfidera don't work together. Tecfidera weakens the immune system and antibiotics strengthen the immune system.

I would highly advise that if you have any kind of infection and are about to start a regime of Tecfidera consult your doctor and do not start until you are infection free.
Ginger  |  July 18, 2014
I have been on Tecifedera for 8 months now and it has been a blessing. I have not had a flareup since on it whereas before it was everyother month. The flushing can be avoided by taking an aspirin with it...it really is a great medication! I recomend switching to it.
Megan  |  May 31, 2014
Comment on this post
By kay s
November 3, 2013
kay s wrote
Avonex made me extremely angry and almost violent
Comment on this post
By Marcia
September 5, 2013
Marcia wrote
Tecfidera
1944views
Pam I also am experiencing extreme fatigue. I am not sure if it's just my MS or if the drug is making it worse. I feel like my arms and legs have weights attached to them.
Ann  |  March 11, 2014
I recently switched from Copaxone, after 10 years. I had no injection sites left. I have been on Tecfidera about 7 months. My recent MRI scans is stable. I still flush, intermittently, several hours after meals. Benadryl handles it well. The major side effect that I have is extreme fatigue. This is different than my normal MS fatigue. I am trying to stick with it to see if after time, it subsides. Hope this helps!
Pam  |  January 6, 2014
Hi Marcia, I do not take Tecfidera but am considering it. I have taken copaxone for over ten yrs. now and have had some flares with optic neuritis, heavy legs with difficulty walking and some fat destruction in my legs where shots are done but Copaxone seems to be working and I feel very stable. I do try to stay out of the sun and to keep my stress as low as possible (read Bible for this every p.m.). I am looking into Tecfidera as I would like to stop taking shots daily. jane
jane  |  September 16, 2013
Comment on this post
By Cheryl Baker
August 22, 2013
Cheryl Baker wrote
I've been on Tecfidera for about 3 months...
2915views
I have been taking it for about 3 weeks now and the only side effects I have experience is itching all over and little rash like areas. And for some reason I have been extremely hungry and I don't know if it could be coming from me taking this medicine. Do any one else have an increase of appetite??
Lashun  |  November 26, 2014
I've been on Tecfidera for about a year and after an 8 year remission stretch of Crohn's or Colitus (they couldn't concretely say which one I have) it's BACK!!! Asacol, a treatment for Crohn's, isn't working so now I have ot get off of Tecfidera and will likely go on Azathioprine to get Crohn's under control. This is bad, really bad folks. Azathioprine is very dangerous and it may not help my MS, but the Crohn's is getting so bad I have to let it take precidence over MS. I see online that Tecfi
Tecifidera and Crohn's?  |  September 8, 2014
Trisha, I hope you are still hanging in there. The simplest thing for me made all the difference in the "furnace effect". I read somewhere else that several people took aspirin an hour before Tecfedra. The flushing and heat is so minor now that I do that. I have a lot of hope hanging on this medicine as well. Let's hang on together!
Anne Marie  |  August 25, 2014
It does get better, Trisha. For me it is an every once-in-a-while side effect. It only happens maybe once every 2-3 months.
Cheryl Baker  |  June 10, 2014
I just started low dose 120 mg Tecfedra. I'm just now 3d week getting the sweats.
I'm getting real horrible sweats ( flushing ). I haven't even begun the 240 mg dose &
I'm bout ready to throw in the towel. I'm so misrable. I haven't been able to stay on
anything, this was my really big hope! Does this constant heat go away? Feels like Im
A furnace on the inside. I get dripping wet. Just begun on third week too. I thought this time
I'd make it. Anyone else have this problem ?
Trisha  |  June 10, 2014
I've been on the Tecfidera for a month and now am having unusually heavy cycle that came 2weeks early.
Michelle  |  May 16, 2014
I have been on it for 6 months and have not had those issues.
Pam  |  January 6, 2014
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By IVY
August 9, 2013
IVY wrote
betaseron
Comment on this post

What patients are saying about Avonex vs. Tecfidera (BG-12)

459 patient discussions from healthcare websites and blogs
just started Tecfidera after four years on Avonex. The...
...have just started Tecfidera after four years on Avonex. The side effects of Avonex never let up. ...touch with anyone else who is taking Tecfidera. So ...
to what I'm reading, Tecfidera is much more effective
...started on Tecfidera. The flu symptoms of avonex had be in bed about 36 every week. I felt horrible. So far this seems to be much better. And according to what I'm reading, Tecfidera is much...
or Avonex. I am seriousley considering stopping Tecfidera...
...I don't have the flushing or GI problems but do get very dizzy and lightheaded when I stand quickly. Never had these problems with Rebif or Avonex. I am seriousley considering stopping Tecfidera. I...
very well on it and has had no relapses or bad side effects...
...in BG12, Since I have a friend who is in one of the trials in Australia. She has done very well on it and has had no relapses or bad side effects. I ...not doing better then the control drug A...
from Avonex to Tecfidera in May. I have had no issues...
I switched from Avonex to Tecfidera in May. I have had ...with this drug and feel better. You may want to look at the Tecfidera thread below for additional suggestions....
I've been on Tecfidera for about 4 months now,...
...now, having switched from Avonex, and I'm doing pretty well on it. I tolerated the initial titration dose really well and when bumped up to 240 mg twice a day did OK for a while. However, I...
posted they had been taking BG12 for about 2 years. They...
...they had been taking BG12 for about ...doing a trial. I just wanted to see what anyone who did the trial tesing, for BG 12, thinks about it ...but nervous. Been on Avonex but I really dont l...
Well...although I did not experience the usual side effects...
...I was on Avonex for 16 years, with very few symptoms. Last year, ...I changed to Tecfidera, when it was first available. Well...although I did not experience the usual side effects, I felt incre...
Well...although I did not experience the usual side effects...
...I was on Avonex for 16 years, with very few symptoms. Last year, ...I changed to Tecfidera, when it was first available. Well...although I did not experience the usual side effects, I felt incre...
the medication was released and I still have side effects...
...Tecfidera side effects. I've been on Tecfidera since the medication was released and I still have side effects, at times, significant. ...that you experience side effects on Avonex. It's complet...
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