I have been on Avonex for 8 years. I started with the powdered form, and had bad side effects. Then they switched us all to the pre-filled form and the side effects were horrible. Chills and shaking that rocked the pictures off the wall, headache, muscle cramps and worst of all - depression. I was approved to switch back to the powdered form, and the side effects are less. However, the depression continues. Sometimes it is 1 day, sometimes 2, sometimes 5 days. Although I know it is a drug induced depression, it doesn't change the fact that I feel horrible for those days.
I take very good care of myself. I swim 4-5 hours of hard cardio a week, play outdoors, follow the Swank diet, don't drink, don't smoke and try to minimize stress. But now the stress of taking the shot is building to the point I haven't taken it in 2 weeks. I just can't bear the days after.
Friday I had an appointment with my Neuro and when I got there he was too busy to see me. I had a melt down, started crying right there at the sign-in desk and had to leave. I had waited over 5 weeks to talk to him! So I called my family doc and she prescribed Cymbalta. Now I am taking that and it sucks. So I have traded 1-4 days of drug induced depression for 7 days of a mood-altering drug. Plus I have come to find out that Cymbalta is highly addictive. I am going off the Cymbalta.
My neuro suggested Tysaberi to me several months ago when I first asked for a way off Avonex, but even with financial aid, I can't afford it.
What to do? I have long thought that I would do better on 1/2 dose. I am only 108 pounds and this drug was tested on 150+ males. Does anyone take only 1/2 dose? I have asked Biogen and my neuro and they just say "dose doesn't depend on body size" which makes absolutely no sense at all. I need less of every other drug, food, beverage, air and water - why is Avonex different?
Any help would be appreciated. I am rapidly loosing my mind.