Extreme night sweats! - Side effect?

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Avonex

Extreme night sweats! - Side effect?

Postby Hanhie » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:31 am

Hi all,

I have just found this forum while trawling through the internet to try and find an answer to extreme night sweats! Does anyone have the these symptoms? If so, have any ideas controlling/getting rid of it? (this maybe a stupid question :oops: ). I have read that this is a side effect of Avonex but have not read about anyone else having them.

I have been taking Avonex for almost 4 years now and on the odd occasion have aches/headaches/fever. As it has been a long time, i try not to take any painkillers as I dont want to become immune to them!

I am having trouble sleeping and am anxious in going to bed for fear of me waking up drenched (!) :cry:
I have tried to sleep with windows open/closed, changing duvets, changing my sleepwear material but nothing works.
If anyone has any ideas or is going through the same thing, I need some advice!!! Please!

Thanks!
H
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Re: Extreme night sweats! - Side effect?

Postby NHE » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:33 pm

Hi Hanhie,
Do the night sweats occur just on the days you take Avonex or do they occur all of the time? Also, do you inject during the day or in the evening before bed?

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Postby Loobie » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:10 pm

I did Avonex for about three years and I got that bad. I had to start using not one, not two, but three pillowcases as I was trashing pillows from having my head sweat so bad. I hated it, but I hated waking up with the chills even worse. For me Avonex was one giant side effect, but to answer your specific ?, I had that side effect big time.
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Night sweats

Postby lyndacarol » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:06 pm

I used Avonex for 7 years without the night sweats problem. Everyone is different.

But maybe this problem has no connection to MS or any drug in you. Discuss the problem with your physician; maybe your thyroid hormone level, or estrogen, or another hormone, is out of whack! Check out all possibilities.
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Postby Hanhie » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:19 am

Hi all,

Thank you for your replies.

Night sweats happen very randomly (but more frequently lately) and I take the Avonex in the evenings.

I have spoken to my MS nurse and she says that it is probably a side effect but cannot suggest anything. I have had my thyroids tested and nothing seems to show there might be a problem.

A friend of mine mentioned that it sounded like symptoms of 'menopause'!! Surely not as i'm only 27! :o
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Re: Extreme night sweats! - Side effect?

Postby NHE » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:04 am

Hanhie wrote:Night sweats happen very randomly (but more frequently lately) and I take the Avonex in the evenings.

The reason I asked about the time of day you take your injection is because it may be a factor in the severity of your side effects. I know that this may sound counterintuitive, but I found that I get much less side effects if I take my shot in the middle of the day around 11 AM to noon. I then take some ibuprofen around 3 hours later which is usually when I start feeling the side effects. The ibuprofen tends to work rather quickly for me and I'm usually OK within a half hour or so. By taking my shot earlier in the day, I find that I'm much less tired the next day. I also had difficulty sleeping while on Avonex in that my body didn't seem to thermoregulate very well and I would often wake up in the middle of the night with either a fever or with chills so bad I was shaking and couldn't walk very well.

I also had a problem with night sweats for a while, but then realized that I was still using my down comforter well into the warmer weather of late Spring. A switch to a lighter blanket made all the difference. I know that this sounds really obvious, but I've been having a problem lately where I often miss the obvious things even though they're staring right at me.

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Postby AllyB » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:14 pm

Hi there

Let me start by saying that you will neither become addicted to nor immune to ibuprofen or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (they are not regular pain killers - different class of drug), but they will help your side effects enormously. You just have to watch out for gastric irritation and possible ulcers - use them for one or two days a week, and always on a full stomach.

I used to be bothered so badly with side effects - I couldn't sleep, sweating, chills, fever, and muscle contractions so bad my husband had to help me 'unbend' or break the muscle spasms! Sweating big time!

I followed NHE's advice and started taking my shot earlier - I take mine around 3pm, with 4 to 6 hrly ibuprofen (800mg) and although I still experience side effects (wish I could stop taking the stuff but I haven't had a relapse since I have been on it and I was pretty bad before) - the side effects are not nearly so severe! So changing the time you take it might help - there is something about night time that just makes everything so much worse, the sweats, chills, pain...
He also suggested that I switch from the auto-injector to the powder form that you mix your self, and I think this also helped, and lastly, he suggested that I stop my combi-med (tylenol, ibuprofen and codeine all in one tab) and just take ibuprofen - and try a bigger dose, so I now take 800mg about an hour before I inject, then another 800mg at about 8pm, and 400mg at midnight, and 400mg or 800mg the next morning, sleep n a bit, and then I am fine. I find that 24 hours takes care of my side effects now. NHE is my Avonex guru!
If all your hormone levels are fine (menopause is very unlikely at your age, but you can have a simple blood test to check), then this is probably from the Avonex - night sweats are listed on the package insert.

Hope some of this helps - if you are inclined to implement any of these suggestions, I would suggest - move the time to some time in the day, change to the powdered form if you can (check with your doc), and use ibuprofen with a fairly heavy hand for 24 hours - doing all of this kept me on Avonex when I was going to stop - I felt like I wanted to die every weekend (drama queen)!

I know that this sounds really obvious, but I've been having a problem lately where I often miss the obvious things even though they're staring right at me.

I truly relate to this! I even open the fridge, stare blindly at all the stuff in there, and then end up closing it again because I haven't a clue as to why I opened it in the first place!
Al
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I get Day sweats!!!

Postby Tbone » Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:34 pm

Hey everyone,

First of all, welcome Hanhie.

this is something I've been meaning to write about lately.

The past month to 6 weeks I have been sweating during the days from the armpits!!! I never sweat before... Its pretty distracting. For example at work, with clients in my office, out of nowhere I'll notice that one of my arm pits would start dripping (it could go on for a minute to 5 mins). I could even be in the office by myself doing some research, no stresses or anxieties, and it would happen. So much that my shirts (standard long sleave dress shirts) are getting stains in the pit area. The variables are all the same, and so is my office environment.

I'm 5ft 10inches, 165 pounds and taking Avonex since August 07 (7 months)... Im thinking it may be effects from the Avonex?!?!?!?!?!

Wonder if anyone else may be (or may have in the past) experienced this, or anything similar. Thanks. Ted
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Postby Hanhie » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:48 am

:D

Thank you all for the very warm and encouraging welcome! -

This seems to be the solution that is working for everyone so I'm going to change the time I take my injections and see how it goes...

Will keep you posted!

Thank you once again!

H
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Postby nonie » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:26 pm

I have night sweats every night since starting Avonex. 6 weeks ago. And headaches. But headaches are getting a little less. I know it's not menopause. It's awful. I feel worse than when I started shots. Will probably stop them. :cry:
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Postby Tbone » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:51 pm

hey nonie,

I would maybe give it a little more time... Ive noticed many of these things pass. I havent updated this post lately, but my armpits sweating in the middle of the day has passed.

I just did my 53rd shot of avonex this weekend (1 full year already), i must say that overall im very satisfied with the results on this medication.

good luck,

Ted
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