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Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:38 am
by BeginHope
Hello everyone. I'm 20 and I have been on Avonex since I was 14 years old. I've always had a fear of needles and when I was first diagnosed I was lucky enough to have a nurse who made me a little less scared. But now that I'm doing injections at home, I have been more weary and scared, again. My best friend comes over every week while I do my shot to try and make things a little easier. Yesterday, when I was ready to do it, I broke down in tears and ended up sitting in the bathroom for an hour plus and ended up not doing it bc I just couldn't find it in me to push the button down. I think it is time to start a new medication. I'm thinking of starting Tecfidera, but I've been reading reviews and am a little scared of the PML story I read. I was also wondering if it is okay to stay off the Avonex until I speak with my doctor about the Tecfidera, because I am an anxious person and get scared of relapse (or death) if I don't take my medicine, even though I know I shouldn't, lol. I feel guilty, mostly. But anyways, if anyone could answer my questions, I would really appreciate it. My family and friends try to understand what I'm going through, but I've read posts here before and I know all of you would understand much better than those who don't have MS. I appreciate them very much but when they beg and beg and beg for me to just "take your shot it's not that bad", they don't get how much it takes to give yourself a shot.

P.S. I think I've also experienced the depression from Avonex and I'm wondering if that is a normal thing, also? Sorry, lots of questions. Haha.

Take care, all!

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:03 pm
by jimmylegs
hi there welcome to the forum :)

14! I couldn't have done it. I always had a fear of needles too.

how's your general health in terms of diet and lifestyle? are you able to take lots of diverse positive healthful steps, as well as the medication?

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:04 pm
by BeginHope
Thank you. :]

My general health is good. I've just recently quit smoking, I'm eating better, and all that. I just don't want to inject myself anymore. To the point where my anxiety is getting bad bc ik i should but i just can't. :(

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:31 pm
by jimmylegs
good for you on quitting smoking!!

re anxiety. can you tell me what your daily intake of magnesium from food is? if you are having trouble with anxiety it could be on the low normal side.

consider aiming for 600mg daily intake if you feel anxious or deal with any of the other wide array of possible magnesium deficit symptoms
fyi - a few other possible low magnesium symptoms: headache, fatigue, irritability, possible difficulty sleeping, muscle pain/cramp/stiffness, muscle tics, irregular heartbeat, PMS.

here is a resource to help you figure out if you are hitting the 600mg daily target: ... #foodchart

if you think a supplement may be needed to reach 600mg, there are a variety of oral (magnesium glycinate = good; magnesium oxide = BAD) and topical (magnesium 'oil', Epsom salts or magnesium chloride flake baths) options.

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:49 pm
by Bigjoe
10 plus years on a Avonex
I have injected myself hundreds of time. Had the work nurse do it, which is best. Had the wife do it. But if she has anxiety sometimes. Best thing yet is the PEN for Avonex. Take the anxiety right out of it. It is easy, painless after 2 injections so far. Google the Avonex pen and you will glad you read this !!!

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:38 pm
by lucy52
First of all, You are not alone. I was diagnosed at 40 with M.S. and went immediately on Avonex. I had a nurse teach me to do the first injection. When I finally did it , I felt like an Olympian!!! The next few months, I lost my nerve. I was using the Avonex that you had to mix and fill and then inject…Anyway, I just couldn't do it anymore. My husband at the time started giving the injection ,but that was not working for me. 10 years later, my elderly father and my neighbor took turns with my injection. It was taking over my life needing help from everyone. I know what you mean when people say , just do it. I was so excited when the injection pen came out. I was able to do it!
Now, my only problem was the side effect of Avonex. I was sick at least 2 days a week even after 10 years.
I have been on Tecfidera for 7 months. I experienced the nausea and flushing (flushing is a redness and a hot feeling). If I eat with the Pill, I do not experience the nausea anymore. The flushing comes and goes. Only I notice it. My cheeks get red. But, I look like I have a little make-up on. and my arms get red, but I look like I have been in the sun. Even when I ask my kids if they can see it ; they don't.
It is so important that you talk to your doctor about Tecfidera. But you are so young and I think the freedom of a pill will let you be young. I admire you for dealing with disease at your age.I love this new treatment. Listen to your doctor and try not to listen to all the negatives that you will read. Every drug has side effects. It is important that you stick with treatment.
I have had M.S. for 12 years. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 2 1/2 years ago. I have been through radiation treatment and 3 major surgeries. I am doing great. All of my doctors were worried about how I would respond to all of my treatment. I surprised everyone. I think M.S. patients are used to dealing with the ups and downs of our disease.I think my positive attitude is my best medicine.
I wish you all the best in your decision. I can never see myself going back on injections. I hope Tecfidera works for you.
Hang in there,

Re: Thinking of Quitting Avonex.. HELP.

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:09 am
by ElliotB
Has the Avonex worked for you?