rebif and anxiety

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Rebif

rebif and anxiety

Postby billf » Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:36 am

Anyone experienced anxiety attacks since going on rebif? I wasn't aware that this was a known side-affect. Panic/anxiety attacks, especially at night, accompanied by high heart-rate are becoming common. Could this be the rebif?
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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby HarryZ » Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:38 pm

Bill,

Go to this site to read about the many possible side effects of Rebif..

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginformation.html

A number of months ago I read on another MS forum the story of a male MS patient who was on Rebif. He became severely depressed, suicidal and ended up being committed to a mental hospital. Fortunately the psychiatrist at the hospital discovered that he was on Rebif and immediately took him off the medication. He recovered very quickly and was released shortly after. Now this doesn't happen often to people on Rebif but I bet that Serona, the makers of this drug, don't advertise these possible side-effects.

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Postby DawnsBrain » Sat Jul 31, 2004 2:53 pm

Oh yeah, I've had one or two panic attacks since starting Rebif. I've only had one in my life and it was prior to a serious surgery I was facing and that was prolly 10 yrs ago.

I called my hub during it b/c I just would not get out of the vehicle to do what I had gone to do. LOL, then I started freaking out b/c I was parked not far from a police station and thought they will think I am up to something just sitting here!!!! Then I tell the hub, OMG...what if the PO wants me to get out of the car b/c I am just sitting here and then think I am drunk????

Horrible day needless to say. I have mini attacks, at least, I see them as such b/c they do not compare to the one I had on the phone with the hub.

Hope this gets better for you b/c those things are enough to deal with let alone know some of our meds may be causing them.
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Postby PhireX » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:20 am

I had major anxiety attacks on Rebif. I was "freaking out" at one point, didnt know what the problem was, GP didnt know that was a problem, thankfully he scribed me some Xanax and it did the trick.

I dont take Rebif anymore. Didnt wanna take 30 other medications just so I could take an interferon, which was going to screw me up in the long term anyway.
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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby NHE » Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:02 am

HarryZ wrote:...but I bet that Serona, the makers of this drug, don't advertise these possible side-effects.

Sure they do. I've found that many, if not most, drug manufacturers put the doctor's prescribing information on their websites. The info for rebif can be found here. The side effects quantified in their studies are clearly indicated. They don't list panic attacks specifically but I would bet that they might fall under the term malaise, which according to Webster can be defined as "a vague sense of mental or moral ill-being - a malaise of cynicism and despair." Malaise was indicated in 5% of patients in the 44µg 3x/week dosage study while it was indicated in only 1% of the placebo group.

Panic attacks can also be induced by prednisone as I experienced first hand. If someone was on both medications, then it's possible that they might have synergistic effects with respect to their tendency to induce panic attacks.

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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby Guest » Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:45 pm

NHE,

Yes, the Serono website does have a lot of information about Rebif but my main concern is that information being available to the patient BEFORE he/she makes the decision to start on the drug. Many people don't have access to the internet and with the case of any powerful drug, the doctor has the main responsibility of providing this info. Quite often we read about patients who were provided little info, start using the drug and then get totally surprised when they suffer nasty side effects. I've never seen the videos that the CRAB drug makers supply but readers have stated that very little info on side-effects is included.

Doctors and drug companies have to work harder at providing this info to the patient but we know that this doesn't happen very often. Doctors claim they are too busy and the drug companies won't spend much if any time telling you about the downside of their products. And again, it's the patient who ends up possibly suffering in the long run.

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Rebif - Beta Interferon

Postby Guest » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:44 pm

Please be sure to read the package insert for EVERY medication that you take. For Rebif, the package insert states under the section entitled: Possible side effects of Rebif
-Flu like symptoms
-Skin reactions
-Depression and Anxiety
-Liver problems
Note also Under warnings:
Depression
Hepatic Injury
Anaphylaxis
Albumin(human)
Under the section Adverse Reactions - the most frequently reported Serious Adverse Event were psychiatric disorders including depression and suicidal ideation or attempt (25% incidence over the placebo group). This was not listed in the Adverse Reaction Table - but only written under the Adverse Reaction section.

Feelings of Anxiety/insomnia/Depression are often linked. I've, unfortunately, become well read on the effects of depression.
Personal note: my 1st Neurologist disregarded my mental and physical discomfort with using Rebif. I was allowed to get so depressed that I ended up with a psychiatrist and an intensive anti-depression therapy. BTW, I had to change neurologists so that I could change MS treatment.
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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby NHE » Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:13 pm

Harry wrote:Quite often we read about patients who were provided little info, start using the drug and then get totally surprised when they suffer nasty side effects.

Well I would have hoped that my case wasn't all that unique but perhaps it was. When I was diagnosed a little over 5 years ago, my doctor gave me product literature pamphlets for the ABC drugs available at that time. These pamphlets all came with the doctor's prescribing information. I took my time and the effort and made it a point to understand all of the information presented in the prescribing information. To this end I picked up a copy of a medical dictionary and looked up all of the words in the prescribing information with which I wasn't familiar. The overall result was that my doctor provided me with the information and then left the decision up to me since each of the ABC's were cited to have about the same efficacy in treating RRMS.

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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby HarryZ » Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:47 pm

NHE,

That's pretty much the way it should happen when you are deciding to choose what kind of drug you want to use for MS. Unfortunately, though, it's not always the case.

One person in Toronto wrote that she went to the St. Michael's MS Clinic, had all the tests and the neuro called and left a message on her answering machine, telling her she had MS. He was going to prescribe Avonex and advised she should come back to see him in 18 months!!!

And there are hundreds of messages written on the MS forums by CRAB drug users who are suffering from side effects but have no idea about them at all.

You are fortunate to have a doc that is responsible and feels important to advise you accordingly. Not all MS patients have this luxury.

Take care.

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Re: rebif and anxiety

Postby NHE » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:50 am

HarryZ wrote:You are fortunate to have a doc that is responsible and feels important to advise you accordingly. Not all MS patients have this luxury.

Actually, I was a bit surprised when I mentioned to him one of issues with Copaxone that seemed fairly major to me but with which he was completely unfamiliar. I could only conclude from this exchange that he had not taken the time to thoroughly read through the doctor's prescribing information. Even so, I was grateful that I at least had the opportunity to digest this information and make a choice which I'm still happy with today.

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Re: Rebif - Beta Interferon

Postby bebe » Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:52 pm

Guest wrote:Please be sure to read the package insert for EVERY medication that you take. For Rebif, the package insert states under the section entitled: Possible side effects of Rebif
-Flu like symptoms
-Skin reactions
-Depression and Anxiety
-Liver problems
Note also Under warnings:
Depression
Hepatic Injury
Anaphylaxis
Albumin(human)
Under the section Adverse Reactions - the most frequently reported Serious Adverse Event were psychiatric disorders including depression and suicidal ideation or attempt (25% incidence over the placebo group). This was not listed in the Adverse Reaction Table - but only written under the Adverse Reaction section
.

No, actually the incidence of depression was 25%, which was equivalent to placebo.

Feelings of Anxiety/insomnia/Depression are often linked. I've, unfortunately, become well read on the effects of depression.
Personal note: my 1st Neurologist disregarded my mental and physical discomfort with using Rebif. I was allowed to get so depressed that I ended up with a psychiatrist and an intensive anti-depression therapy. BTW, I had to change neurologists so that I could change MS treatment.
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Re: Rebif - Beta Interferon

Postby HarryZ » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:42 pm

Bebe,

Feelings of Anxiety/insomnia/Depression are often linked. I've, unfortunately, become well read on the effects of depression.
Personal note: my 1st Neurologist disregarded my mental and physical discomfort with using Rebif. I was allowed to get so depressed that I ended up with a psychiatrist and an intensive anti-depression therapy. BTW, I had to change neurologists so that I could change MS treatment.


So often these problems get out of hand because the prescribing doc doesn't take the time to treat the patient as opposed to just the disease.

Harry
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Postby bebe » Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:54 pm

agreed
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Postby SandyP » Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:42 pm

:? I guess that is why my Neuro started me on Effexor at the same time!? I asked him if he thought going off Effexor was a good idea, and he said I would probably stay on it for a while. Mind you, I could stop at anytime if I didn't want to swallow the pills (which taste AWFUL!!) but being new to this whole thing is a bit overwhelming at times, so I go with the flow until I start to do a little knowledge seeking and get some info to begin to make the decisions.

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just when the bill arrived.........

Postby Marknamealreadytaken » Fri May 13, 2005 8:56 pm

been on this stuff for about 16 months no panic attack yet. The doc did offer me some prozac just in case something happened. It didn't get me high so I just threw it out :) On a more serious note from all the posts on this topic it appears as if we all had better make a constant effert to stay informed. Speaking of which.. new topic... Laquinimod.
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