Hey!!! Sory to hear about your diagnosis. I was on avonex ( 1xper week) for 2 years and couldn't tolerate it, so i switched to copaxone. it's once a day, but none of the nasty side affects. avonex made me sick as **** for at least 3 days, but that was unusual, so give anything a try. whatever fits into your lifestyle better. by the way...copaxone takes about 5 min. to do..and I HATE SHOTS!!!!!! ( had MS for 9 years and i'm 33) good luck, hope this helps!!!
My neruo wanted me to choose between Copaxone and Rebif. Rebif is 3x per week, Copaxone is daily. Both are subcutaneous (under the skin). Avonex is once weekly, intramuscular - I'm assuming a longer needle!
I am waiting for my insurance to approve Copaxone now. Copaxone is a different sort of drug from all the others so has far fewer side effects. Besides the "flu-like" symptoms the other drugs require some degree of monitoring of your liver function and other stuff. HOWEVER, when I told my neuro what I had chosen she said one might expect so see improvement on an MRI in as little as 3 months with Rebif, more like 6 months for Copaxone.
I chose based on what I hope will best suit my lifestyle, and I feel ok about the 3 months thing because the MS is not real bad for me at this time.
Good luck. Do some reading at the different drug websites.
When I chose an MS therapy, what it came down to was not a matter of measuring one drug's side effects against another's as they ALL seem to have some risk of side effects. I made my choice based on what best fits my lifestyle and needs as a single parent.
I am on Avonex and because it is intramuscular, yes, the needle is longer..1.25 inches. But I figured a needle in the skin is a needle in the skin and once you pierce the upper layer, any pain you're going to feel from the injection is pretty much done.
Don't know if that helps or not, but that's how I processed my decision!
I have recently started Avonex. I work in a Hospital and I'm lucky enough to have a nurse friend do my injections for me.
I try to do my injections Monday around 5PM . It makes Tuesdays kind of rough but I can still work (I'm lucky so far).
I had violent convulsions and sweating after my first shot. Before my second shot I took 3 Advil waited 1 hour took two tylenol waited 1 hour got my shot and six hours later I did the Advil Tylenol thing again. This time I had no ill efffects from the shot.
I have now reduced to two advil and two tylenol with my shot. It seems to keep the side effects at bay.
From what I understand, Avonex is no "weaker" than Rebif, Copaxone, or Betaserone...it is given once a week because it is intramuscular and releases into your bloodstream over several days, whereas the other CRAB meds are injected into the subcutaneous tissue and are absorbed much more quickly, which is why they are given more than once a week. Hope that helps!
I am on Avonex and have been on it for years and years. It must be working as I have remained stable with no attacks.
I did try Betaseron but had to stop after just a few doses due to bad side effects.
With Avonex, I did have some side effects early in therapy. They consisted of a temporary aggrevation of MS sysmptoms lasting a day or so after the shot. Now I don't have any side effects at all.
My sense is that all the CRAB drugs are about the same in terms of effectiveness. Side effects seem to vary quite a bit from person to person.
I like the convenience of only injecting once a week. Its really long since become second nature, "no big deal" so to speak.
Hope this has helped you with deciding on a therapy.
Thank you so far for the Positive thoughts of Avonex.
What Bruce experienced that being "violent convultions" sure scares the heck out of me. But I "hope" everyone is different due to that side effect.
Rebif,.. sounds practical in that it has the prefilled syringes and auto injector etc..... But due to the thought of ones body building up antibodies to the drugs(which i have read).. Avonex is very low,.. something like 5%,. opposed to Rebif which is 25%, and Betaserone which is 35 %.. Or there abouts
I don't want to take something that my body has a bigger chance of building Antibodies as taking these shots are a life time thing.
*whew,.. what a decission in which one to go with. I'll be glad when I decide!
Sorry I didn't mean to scare you. The point I was trying to make is that I was able to get control of the Avonex side effects quickly.
I just had my shot. Today was the first time that I gave it to myself. A friend of mine had been giving me the injections since April. It was really not as hard as I though it would be.
Another thing to consider with Avonex is since you are only injecting once a week, the possibility of problems with the injection site is reduced compared to some of the other meds which are injected more often.