Mari wrote:Hi Grump,
It turned out that my new MRI showed no new leisons... not sure where all these new symptoms came from (Rebif, perchance?).
I am supposed to start Copaxone this week. I am looking forward to it based on the low side-effects reports. I am so tired of side effects!
Did you ever have any issues with Depression or Anxiety related to the Rebif? Perhaps my poor mind was just mistaking the malaise the Rebif causes with depression? Whatever it is, I've been away from it for over a week now and things are just looking brighter.
Thanks again for your response!
Interestingly enough, a recent head to head study between Rebif and Copaxone showed no difference in adverse events. Yes, there was more flu-like with Rebif (typical for an IFN), but Copaxone is not without side effects and this study showed that. The injection site reactions and induration (lypoatrophy) was worse with Copaxone. Another interesting fact- no difference in depression. No too surprising though, in the Rebif pivotal trial, there was no difference between Rebif and placebo when it came to depression. Depression is caused for many reasons. Some believe that IFN can worsen depression, but it doesnt just cause it on its own.
Flu-like symptoms can be bothersome...some things to remember
-If taking it at night doesnt work for you, try taking it in the morning. There was a recent publication showing that switching the time of injection to the am worked for some people (some physiological reason, I cant remember)
-Dont skip a dose. You want to achieve a "steady state" of medication...your body will become acustomed to the medication and the flu like symptoms will taper off.
In the trials, 50% of people got flu-like, 50% did not. The majority resolve in 2-3 months.
-Be sure to use an analgesic if you need it. A low dose steriod can also be used if refractory. Remember, there are 2 doses of Rebif and some people do just fine on the 22mcg if you cant make it on the 44mcg (and the data on the 22mcg is pretty good...not as good at the 44mcg, but you will still get more IFN with that than taking Avonex)
-Keep the end-goal in mind, which is the reason for all this- Rebif has been shown to be the most effective in head to head trials and cross-comparison studies (except for maybe Betaseron but it probably has worse flu-like)
Hopefully you have a good nurse or ARNP that can help you work through this. Too many doctors will yank people off therapy without finding solutions that can be most benefical in the long run. A good recommendation would be to find an MS specialist in an MS Center that has an ARNP that can spend time with you.