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i was recently 'not yet' diagnosed with MS. but, it certainly appears to be on the horizon once all my testing is complete. my dr has given me some options on which medication to start taking.
What kind of testing have you been through?
i have read thru all of their marketing info and ended up with more questions than answers. i'm also found myself being quite the cynic over the whole process.
The marketing info is pretty glossed over by the pharmas. Get a medical dictionary, either from a library or a used book store, and comb through the prescribing information pamphlets. You will learn much about the medications by doing so.
my choices have narrowed to Avonex, Rebif, or Copaxone.
benefits - once a week injection, less neutralizing antibodies than Rebif
drawback - maybe flu, less medicine than Rebif = maybe less effective? they even admit that for the initial year. increased liver enzymes. depression and fatigue.
Intramuscular injection therefore none to minimal injection site reactions (perhaps some light bruising every once and a while). It's a big needle, but if you stick it in the right spot in your leg, then it's not too bad.
benefits - more medicine = maybe better results?
drawback - 3 injections per week. flu 3 times a week? increased liver enzymes, more neutralizing antibodies than Avonex. depression and fatigue
Subcutaneous injection therefore increased likelihood of injection site reactions often described as "injection site tissue necrosis."
benefits - no liver issues, no depression issues, less flu like symptoms. no neutralizing antibodies.
drawbacks : seven shots per week. initial chest/breathing issues after injection. there is something else, but it escapes me at the moment.
Lipoatrophy. This is where the fatty tissue layer just under your skin dies off. It makes the skin look dented like a deflating balloon.
thanks and best of luck to everyone.
I'm not a doctor and you should do your own research. However, I will offer my opinion. Wait until you have a firm diagnosis before starting one of the disease modifying drugs. In the meantime, give serious consideration to diet and lifestyle changes that will reduce your body's tendency towards inflammation. For example, eliminate trans fat, reduce saturated fat and try some of the beneficial supplements discussed on the Diet and Natural Approach forums. A brief list might include omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, turmeric, green tea, vitamin D3, zinc, magnesium, r-lipoic acid as well as others. If you smoke, stop. It's been found to be associated with increased disease progression. If you drink, then minimize how much you drink. Also consider getting your blood tested for various parameters like vitamin D3 etc. This will give you a baseline so you have some idea of how much to supplement.
Lastly, there has been a growing hypothesis that MS may be a disease with chronic immune system activation in genetically susceptible individuals, but perhaps not one of autoimmune etiology. This hypothesis centers around research over the years that has demonstrated reduced cerebral blood perfusion in MS patients. Recent developments over the last few years have been focused on Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI). This may be something that you wish to look into and learn about. Treatment for CCSVI involves balloon angioplasty of the jugular and/or azygous veins. The treatment is still experimental and the procedure is continually evolving with some very committed doctors looking into how to maximize benefit while minimizing its associated risks such as damage to the veins and potential blood clotting. However, much like my statement about the disease modifying drugs, you may wish to just learn what you can about it for now.