New Thinner Needle and New Autoinjector for Betaseron

A thinner needle will soon be available for individuals taking Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b) for the long-term treatment of MS. The thinner needle is being offered as a way to potentially help reduce the pain and anxiety often associated with injections.

This new, 30-gauge needle is the thinnest of any of the needles used with injectable disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS, and replaces a thicker, 27-gauge needle used presently by patients taking Betaseron. The 30-gauge needle is the same size as those used for pediatric injections as well as for insulin in the treatment of diabetes.

An optional new autoinjector named “BETAJECT® Lite” is being introduced along with the thinner needle, for patients taking Betaseron who use an autoinjector. The older autoinjector, which was designed for the existing 27-gauge needle, should not be used with the thinner needle; doing so may result in patients not receiving their full dose of the drug.

The new, thinner needle is expected to be available to Betaseron users in early November 2008. Until that time, the makers of Betaseron (Bayer HealthCare) are instructing individuals presently taking Betaseron to continue on and eventually finish their current supply of the drug using the 27-gauge needles, with their current autoinjector. Patients should not discontinue or skip any doses while waiting for the new needles to become available, unless advised by one’s physician. Once available, supplies of the drug containing the thinner needles will be packaged in new, blue Betaseron boxes.

Please note that Betaseron’s formulation and mixing process remains the same, so only the needle and its autoinjector have been changed. For more information on Betaseron and its thinner needle, or to order the new BETAJECT Lite autoinjector, individuals may visit or call BETAPLUS™ at (800) 788-1467. BETAPLUS is an MS-support program offered through Betaseron; this program was formerly known as MS Pathways(sm).

Editor’s note: While MSAA supports the use of disease-modifying therapies in the treatment of MS (when recommended by one’s neurologist), MSAA does not endorse or recommend any specific products, services, therapies, or activities mentioned on its website and in its publications. The material given is for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment options, individuals are strongly urged to consult their physician.