Thanks for your support cheerleader.
I understand why some people have problems with Valtrex. It's a comparatively new drug. What it does is wreck the RNA of Herpes family virus when they try to replicate. This causes a release of toxins into your system so initially you feels worse. This is called a Herximer reaction. If it's intolerable just lower the dose but persist. As the virus weakens under the onslaught of the Valtrex the discomfort will subside. Then increase the dose again. I take one morning and night. The original commercial use for Valtrex was a high dose burst treatment to combat genital herpes. Shingles, Epstein-Barr, cold sores and many other illnesses are in the herpes family. What makes them so persistent is they need a host cell to reproduce. They use yours. Every time you make a new cell in your body and the virus is residing in it you will make a new copy of the virus and your viral load increases. Valtrex works most effectively at the point of replication by disrupting the viral RNA. It really needs very long term, persistent use to lower the viral load.
I use Valtrex specifically to lower my viral load but its only half the story with MS. Valtrex cannot signal the immune system to behave correctly. Its only function is to disrupt viral replication. We MS people have a malfunctioning T Cell receptor called CD8. In healthy people , their CD8 T cell sees a virus and it starts the process of producing interferon and antiviral activity and that fights off the virus. Our CD8 T cells do not start the cycle of producing interferon in the healthy way. Interferon is the natural agent that makes you ache when you're getting sick. We need to boost our Interferon to wake up our immune system to do something hence products like Avonex. Sometimes these Interferon injections are just about intolerable because when we wake up the immune by injection it just sees so many infections that it hadn't noticed before.
I have put a number of posts up talking about the same thing with links to research articles. Some people have found the newspaper articles that try to talk about the same research and have posted them. They are all tied into the same work that noted that Vitamin D has a role to play and it explain why the incidence of MS is lower closer to the Equator. In simple terms, Vitamin D binds to the receptor on CD8 and changes its behaviour. Vitamin D is synthesied by Sunlight hence the lower incidence.
The politics of medicine is very stubborn. What I have learned is many medical practioners do not read their peer literature even if the subscribe. They are reluctant to deviate from the standard line for fear of ridicule or charges of negligence. Please print this article and take it to a doctor who you think will help you and give it a go.
This is not an easy way back. It probably took you 20 years to get sick. It will take 10 to get the viral load way down because you just don't make new cells quicker than that. The good news is you should feel a lot better in a short time as the virus starts to retreat and your fatigue should disappear. It needs a bloody minded persistence to do this and there will be set backs as your body wages world war 3. I don't pretend I can't slip backwards but I have been free of any MS symptom for some years now. Very recently I have developed a bout of gout. Valtrex is a purine and elevated purine causes gout. I'm assuming that I am now the most hostile place on Earth for a herpes family virus if I have altered my system that much over a decade. I'mn happy to start modifying what I do now I have reached this place but until I know what I do next I won't post any suggestions. I'd rather deal with self inflicted gout than MS any day.
Hope this helps.