Just signed up for the Campath trial May '08. Finished my 5 day infusion 6/20/08.
Almost got excluded due to low lymphocyte count on the screening bloodwork from taking Rebif since Nov '07.
Doctor got the ok to repeat my bloodwork after I'd completed the drug wash-out period of 28 days, and my labs came back normal this time and I was accepted.
Did an MRI and some EDSS and other tests. They are very boring, especially the eye charts.
Another patient (young male) and I got the Campath infusion together last week. My IV catheter lasted all 5 days!
From reading the posts on this forum and from meeting Sugarmomma and Kristen at my doctor's office, I was expecting this to be pretty bad, but luckily/thankfully I have barely had any problems so far.
Day 1 infusion = 6 hrs
1 hr of SoluMedrol (steroid)
4 hrs of Campath
plus some bathroom breaks and time to place IV catheter, etc.
Experience: Had friend drop me off at office. Doctor told us to take Claritin, Tylenol, and Pepcid before we came in, and then gave us Zofran (antinausea) when we got there in case we felt sick. Got mild headache/bodyache/chills about halfway thru the day's infusion.
I was hooked up to an EKG before we started because I have a history of tachycardia (fast heartrate, mines always above 100) and the doctor wanted to be safe. My temp, blood pressure, and heartrate were fine through the infusion. I went home feeling fine. My treatment buddy did fine too. Took at least 2 more doses of Tylenol today to combat mild aches. Took a short walk today.
Day 2 infusion = 6 hrs
1 hr Solumedrol
4 hrs Campath
Experience: Friend dropped me off at office again. I did not even get a headache or anything today. Hooked up to EKG again, still did fine. Treatment buddy came in with a rash, so he got some IV benadryl, but I did not get a rash overnight. Took more antinausea medication, along with the Claritin, Tylenol, Pepcid, but never felt sick. Treatment buddy had an asthma attack as we were finishing up, used his Albuterol inhaler and got an IM injection of DepoMedrol (steroid).
Day 3 infusion = 4 hrs
1 hr Solumedrol
2 hrs Campath
Symptoms: Drove myself to office. Did fine again today. No rash, treatment buddy had his rash again though. No EKG today, blood pressure/temp/heartrate still doing fine. No complaints. Feeling a little tired but not bad at all. Worst part is having to pee from the steroids. Did have a little bit of the "runs" at dinner time, but I'm going to attribute that to the leftover unheated eggplant salad I had eaten earlier.
Day 4 infusion = 2 hrs
2 hrs Campath
Experience: Drove myself to office. Still no rash, pretty tired today. Heartrate is the lowest its ever been for me at 64 bpm, probably why I feel tired. Infusion went fine. Treatment buddy still has rash, also has started having some difficulty breathing, so he is hooked up to EKG now. I took a long nap this afternoon. Starting to feel a bit weak and wiped out. Slight cough today.
Day 5 infusion = 3 hrs
1/2 hr IV benadryl
2 hrs Campath
1/2 hr Valium
Experience: Did not feel totally well this morning, so had friend drive me to office. Woke up with VERY slight rash for the first time, itched a little. Took my Claritin, Pepcid, Tylenol combo. Doctor gave me IV benadryl to combat the rash. IV benadryl made me get restless leg syndrome and I started getting very antsy, so they gave me IV Valium to calm me down, but it burnt like hell when it was injected straight into the vein, so they diluted it and ran it over about half an hour. IV cather is finally starting to be really finicky, so infusions today did not go as quickly or smoothly as before. I was very tired today and barely had the energy to talk to the doctor. My neck aches today. Heartrate is in the 90's today. Treatment buddy is looking worn out too. He also was complaining about feeling really antsy so he got Valium as well. Near the end he was feeling dizzy so they made him lie down and hooked up the EKG again. I finished up my treatment after him this time and my friend drove me home. Ate some lunch and napped for hours. Kind of cranky today.
Was not able to sleep that night, tossed and turned for hours, got up to pee a couple times.
Can't really remember a whole lot of specific details, but I didn't get any more rashes.
Throat is drippy (like post-nasal drip) but not sore. Has lasted for 4 days now. Doctor said its an allergic reaction like the rash, not getting sick, told me to take 3 doses of Benadryl a day to dry it up. Not dripping so much anymore, but had turned back into a cough today, will talk to doctor about this tomorrow. Did not sleep much in the 2 nights after my last infusion (steroids make me wired), but the third night I did finally get somewhat better sleep. I get bursts of energy. Went out with friends to movie and dinner, etc. Went shopping a couple times. Basically just feel a lower energy level than I did right before the infusion.
Went back to work today 6/24/08 (last infusion was on 6/20/08). Did 7 hrs reception desk, then met friends at ice-cream shop for an hour and a half, then dinner and tv at home, then drove to boyfriend's house and am now writing this story.
So overall, I have done extremely well with this Campath study so far. It has gone WAY better than I what I was prepared for. Maybe I got the "low dose"? But they don't tell you that, its a blinded study!
Anyway feel free to ask me any questions about stuff I probably forgot to mention. And I'll post with more updates if and when anything changes, but so far I'm just a bit more tired/weak/slow than usual and my throat is drippy/coughy. Oh and I have pimples from the steroids but not the worst I've ever gotten from it either.
<Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.
RRMS since Jan. 2006>