***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

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***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby MamaRudy3 » Fri May 31, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi all! I am new to this website but happy to be here. I have a question: I have had Relapsing/Remitting MS since 2004 and have been "symptom-free" for almost 7 years (knock on wood). Thank you God! I had my last MRI 2 years ago and never heard anything from my neuro. Last month I went in to see them for the first time in 2 years (I know...I know...too long) and they told me I had 4 new lesions on my MRI 2 years ago. My first response was "why didn't you tell me"!?!

Anyway....They want me to get another MRI and possibly switch medications. As I mentioned before, I am "symptom-free" (knock on wood again ;-)) so the lesions must be in silent areas I guess. I do NOT want to switch meds!!! I have been on Copaxone for almost 9 years and feel great. I run, I exercise, I am very active with my kids etc. etc. Some of the oral medications they mentioned (Gilenia and BG12) cause bad side effects. I have a friend on Gilenia and she is so sick and tired that she can't even function. I would rather not take ANY meds than be like that!!!

SO.....can doctors FORCE me to switch meds???

Thx for your input!!! :geek:
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Re: ***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby eric593 » Fri May 31, 2013 12:51 pm

1. A doctor can't force you to take anything.

2. The question seems to be whether one can stop prescribing copaxone for you. I would think only if you no longer meet qualifying conditons. Since none of the meds can claim to prevent all relapses, and it sounds like your subjective health is at least stable on copaxone, I would think that a doctor would prefer you on something than nothing. I don't know how long between MRI's that the 4 lesions developed, if it was a number of years, then I don't think copaxone could be called a "failure". If you had 30 new lesions...maybe.

I understand why you'd be resistant to the meds with greater risks when your quality of life has remained stable on copaxone. I can't see a doctor refusing to continue copaxone unless your health was clearly declining with accumulating disability in spite of it.
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Re: ***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby Loriyas » Fri May 31, 2013 2:28 pm

I say find a new neurologist. If you had 4 new lesions and they did not notify you they are not serving your best interest. Find a new neuro, perhaps get a new MRI and go from there. If it were me I would not feel confident in recommendations based on two year old information.
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Re: ***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby MacKintosh » Fri May 31, 2013 3:11 pm

Agreed, Loriyas.
I vote for a new neuro, too. Until I was diagnosed with MS, I looked at doctors as God. They were all-seeing, all-knowing and had my best interests at heart. Wrong assumption!

Now, I know better and I'm far more engaged in my medical treatment. I make the decisions. They get to make suggestions. I decide.
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi
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Re: ***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby CureOrBust » Fri May 31, 2013 3:57 pm

The question (and answer) you sholuld always remember, is "can a patient switch doctors?" yes!

Just let them know firmly you do/will not wish to switch meds, and why. Its your choice, with (or against) their recommendation.

As or Gilenya and your friend. I take Gilenya, and do not have the same effects as your friend. Do not forget the real variable here is MS itself. It affects everyone a little or a lot differently.
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Re: ***CAN DOCTOR MAKE ME SWITCH MEDICATIONS???***

Postby cheerleader » Fri May 31, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi Mama--
I agree with the others, sounds like you might want a new neuro. Two years after an MRI you got the report? Tha't just crazy. But whatever you decide, stick to a plan you're comfortable with. It's working for you. Good for you on keeping moving and staying active.

One thing to potentially discuss with your doc is the fact that your new white matter lesions don't appear to correspond with disability or disease progression. Especially if you haven't had any new symptoms or relapses....sounds like copaxone is working for you. New research is showing that gray matter atrophy is more correlated to disability than the amount of white matter lesions. This is why someone like my husband can have over 20 lesions on his brain and cervical spine, but have normal gray matter and still be mogul skiing--while a progressive patient might have one lesion, loss of gray matter tissue and be physically impaired. Ask your doc how your thalamus, brain stem and third ventricle are doing. They can compare past MRIs and look for tissue loss. Here's more on this if you're interested. general-discussion-f1/topic19418.html
Take care,
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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