Oh God, help, please!

If it's on your mind and it has to do with multiple sclerosis in any way, post it here.

Oh God, help, please!

Postby Punchy » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:14 am

I am getting married in 7 days, and yesterday I developed a sore throat which today has spread to my lungs. I'm pretty certain it's flu virus.

Everytime I get the flu, I am bed-ridden for days. I am devastated :(

Nothing is open, I don't know where to call. I want to know if I can take antivirals while taking Rebif. I've scoured the net - nothing. The Rebif support line is closed for the weekend.

I am going to a walk-in clinic this afternoon, but guaranteed the Dr. won't know what to do.
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Postby dignan » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:19 am

I've never heard of interferon interactions with anti-virals. In fact, interferons have some anti-viral properties themselves...

Anti-viral properties of interferon beta treatment in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler. 2002 May;8(3):237-42.
Hong J, Tejada-Simon MV, Rivera VM, Zang YC, Zhang JZ.
Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Viral infections are potentially associated with the etiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). It has been speculated that the treatment efficacy of interferon beta (IFN beta) in MS may relate to its anti-viral properties.

The study was undertaken to evaluate the in vivo anti-viral effects of IFN beta-1a in patients with MS. Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) was studied as an example for being a latent neurotropic virus. IFN beta used at concentrations of approximately 0.5 microg/ml was shown to significantly reduce in vitro HHV-6 replication in a susceptible T-cell line. Sera derived from 23 MS patients treated with IFN beta-1a were examined for serum cell-free DNA of HHV-6 as an indicator for viral replication and the reactivity of IgM antibodies to a recombinant HHV-6 virion protein containing a known immunoreactive region. The results were compared with those of control sera obtained from untreated MS (n=29) and healthy individuals (n=21).

The findings indicated that IFN beta treatment significantly reduced HHV-6 replication as evident by decreased cell-free DNA in treated MS specimens. The results correlated with decreased IgM reactivity to the HHV-6 antigen in treated MS patients compared to untreated controls, suggesting reduced exposure to HHV-6. The findings were confirmed in paired sera obtained from seven MS patients before and after the treatment. The study provides new evidence indicating that IFN beta has potent in vivo anti-viral effects that may contribute to the treatment efficacy in MS.

Pubmed link
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OTC "Anti-Viral"

Postby Shayk » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:28 pm


Here's a link to info about a Canadian product that you might be able to obtain--notice that it says it "strengthens" the immune system and that people with "auto-immune" diseases should discuss it with their physicians before using it.

I've never tried it so I can't report any personal experience with it. I discovered it when I was trying to track down the ginseng being used in a trial for MS fatigue. (You have to scroll down to get to the ginseng trial.)

Sure hope you find something that brings you back to good health quickly.

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Inflammation resulting in exacerbation

Postby lyndacarol » Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:35 pm

Punchy, Dignan has offered excellent pertinent information!

Another member here, CureOrBust, has observed frequent exacerbations after getting the flu. I believe he has found Tamiflu to be helpful. Ask him AND discuss it with your doctor! (There must be some way--answering service or something--to contact your physician in an emergency, right?)
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Postby oreo » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:13 pm

1. Call Telehealth Ontario for advice 1-866-797-0000


2. Get thee to the emergency room of St. Michael's Hospital downtown (corner of Victoria & Shuter). With their very reputable MS clinic, the hospital should have a qualified MS neuro on call even if this is a long week-end.

Lastly, are you sure its not just a bad case of nerves?

Good luck with your wedding.

Best wishes,
Carpe Diem
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Postby CureOrBust » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:45 pm

A flu has been my only trigger for a relapse. On my last flu, I had pre-arranged and kept handy a box of Tamiflu (an anti viral). It started making a difference to my flu within hours! Tamiflu appeared to be the first drug that may of actually stopped a relapse from happening. I normally take prednisone after the flu, when the relapse starts, and that time I took a single dose just as a precaution, and I didn't notice ANY relapse.

My flu had the EXACT symptoms as was on the labelling of the product. I also now take Amantadine as a prophylactic when I feel I get into "risky" situations such as out at a bar where you have to shout to talk to the person next to you, or if people are sick at work.

I would go to your walk in clinic, explain you have MS and what's coming up and how the flu affects you. Don't walk out without the script. If he/she doesn't seem "convinced" remind them that MS is a form of BRAIN DAMAGE, this is NOT a vanity request.

It is not cheap, but it proved to be worth its weight in gold, or even saffron.
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Postby Punchy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:11 am

How rude of me to seek your help then never say thank you or even give an update.

Thank you all so much for your reassurance and advice - I was truly in a panic, exacerbated by Bridezilla syndrome!

I ended up going to the walk-in and met the best on duty Dr. EVER. Thank you Hewlett Packard - he had one of their new PalmPilot MD programs and was able to look up Tamiflu and confirm that it is in fact ok to take with Rebif.

He told me to wait two days then come back if it progressed. It turned out to be a nasty head cold and nothing more, thank goodness. So I was still quite sick on my wedding day but it wasn't the world-crashing flu that I feared.

I ended up not taking my shot the night before the wedding and had the treat of being Rebif-free for 5 days.

Thanks again!
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