Lisa P -- Avonex
I noticed in your response to Katie M that you said you stopped taking your Avonex. My dh took Avonex in the 90s and was forced to stop because it affected his liver. However, I don't know how long he would have taken it if not forced to stop because he lost nearly 2 days a week to what he referred to as "The Avonex Flu". Now he takes copaxone.
He had a couple of exacerbations after he stopped taking Avonex, one serious enough that he did a course of steroids. And as I mentioned in my repsonse to Katie, he was a bit complacent about pursuing treatment. Then in 2003, he had a flare up and ended up being hospitalized for an out of control urinary tract infection (UTIs are not all that uncommon among MS patients who sometimes don't void completely). He got serious about treatment, especially after some testing revealed new lesions. He did a round of steroids and he started on Copaxone.
At first he was reluctant to do the copaxone. He's one of those folks that doesn't "do well" with needles and Copaxone is a daily injectible. But, from the beginning he's done great w/ it. It's must different then Avonex in the 90s which required mixing stuff and filling your own syringe. (****, for the sake of MS patients everywhere, I hope THAT'S improved!!!)
The Copaxone comes in pre-filled syringes. It's sub-cutaneous (not intra-muscular like Avonex) so the needles aren't as intimidating. And, the pre-filled syringe is loaded into a little spring-loaded cartridge ... and he never actually sees the needle go into his skin. For HIM anyway, that's a BIG improvement.
He has no problems doing the daily injections, he has minimal side effects ... occasional itchiness at the injection site, two or three times in 2+ years he got chest pains but they were short-lived (minutes) and his doctor had warned him about exactly WHEN it might happen and how it might feel.
And best of all, recent MRIs show NO new lesions.
Everybody has to make their own decisions about what is right for them. Please do not think I am faulting your decision. I just wanted to share my dh's story with you.
I wish you the best.
Last edited by StephMA; 08-08-2005 at 06:50 PM.