Archive for ABC drugs

Cladribine – the Possible New Pill for MS

When I read this post today on the internet I became very excited. Knowing that there might be a pill that could replace daily or weekly injections to decrease the amount of relapses sounds just great. I hate those shots — in fact this is the reason why I stopped taking them 10 months ago. And knoock on wood I had no major problems every stopping the medicine. But if I could have the option of taking a pill instead of the injection I would be more likely go back on my medication.

But what exactly is Cladribine. Cladribine is commonly used for leukemic reticuloendotheliosis. This mediciation is not given over a long period of time. So this could be the downfall for Cladribine as far as MS is concerned. We all know that MS will stick with us for the rest of our life. And this could mean that we will have to take Cladribine for a much longer period of time. And how about the side effects? Cancer treatment is known for heavy side effects.

But we should consider all aspects of this. Not only the side effects but also the (hopefully, positivs outcome. If taking Cladribine might cause me to be a little more fatigue but I won’t have to end up in a wheelchair than I would be very happy to try this pill. I guess, it all depends on what we would like to do with our lives. Even if it would mean that we would only get 5 or 10 more years good life without the use of a wheelchair or a walker. These 5 or 10 years of possible fatigue are better than what could happen to us if we wouldn’t feel that

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Best Time to Inject Avonex

I just heard some thoughts about better ways to take Avonex shots. A friend told me about a woman who had suffered from the same Avonex side effects I have been suffering but she had trained herself from not getting affected by those flu like symptoms any longer. She had tried many different ways but found out that it is best to take the shot earlier during the day and fight the side effects during the day. Instead of taking the shot at dinnertime she is taking her shot sometimes after lunch and keeps her regular life going. After a few weeks her body got used to dealing with those side effects until not only the shot but also the side effects were a piece of cake.

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Feeling Guilty and Scared

I know, I know. Or better I know that I should know better. I haven’t been very good with my Avonex lately. Usually I am taking my shot every Friday – but due to moving into a different state, trying to find a hospital who is still willing to sponsor international nurses as well as some personal issues I wasn’t able to find a day where I could take my shot for a couple of weeks. I am scared as the last time I didn’t take my shot for a few months I have been heading down towards an exacerbation. And I really don’t want to get into that again. A few minutes ago I have given myself the shot and wait now for the side effects. The good thing – House will be on at 9. So I am trying to stay up until then, watch the show and then go to bed and hope that my side effects will be covered up by my sleeping pill. I don’t like taking Ambien. But if I only take it one day a week (not even that much if I skip my Avonex) than this s fine. And it surely, does give me a good night sleep. So if you are still suffering from your side effects ask you doctor for one pill each week. Give it a try – for me it makes a big difference in the way I feel the following morning. Without Ambien I feel really bad. With Ambien I feel just a little bit on the strange side – it is a no-brainer to me. But again, after not taking my Avonex for a few weeks, I expect some bigger side effects this week. But we will see how it goes.

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My First Avonex Shot

Although, this moment lies almost six years in the past I can still remember that day the like it was yesterday.

It didn’t take long for me to set up the appointment for the Avonex nurse to come see me. The nurse came into our house and showed me how I am supposed to clean my hands, set up the clean area so that I can mix my Avonex – yes, during my first couple of years I didn’t have the pleasure of receiving an already filled syringe, clean the injection side and put the long needle into my leg. I had to withdraw 1.0 ml of normal saline and mix it with the white tablet in the other bottle, gently swirl the vial without making bubbles, looking wether the liquid turned yellow or stayed nice and clear before filling up the needle that should soon get in contact with my leg. My problem wasn’t really the mixing of the drug. My problem was that long needle. How should I ever jam that thing into my muscle? The Avonex nurse showed me via an orange how to stick the needle into the orange skin. Again, I don’t mind sticking an orange skin. An orange skin can’t feel pain. But I can!
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ABC drugs and your Liver – they are not best friends

You may have heard that medications are either metabolized in the kidneys or in the liver. Avonex is a medication that is metabolized in the liver and therefore it is essential for you to get your liver tested on a regular basis. My doctor is checking my blood every 6 months to see whether my liver is still working or if I need stay away from Avonex for a while. In fact, Avonex Betaseron, Copaxone and Rebif all can cause liver damage.
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M.S. Drugs – a bit more in depth

It might take a long time until we will finally read that some clever people finally find a cure for MS. Maybe in our life we won’t be able to read about this. But this doesn’t mean that there is nothing out there that can help us. Today I won’t talk about those medications that help us to control our symptoms. Today I would like to say which medications are out there that can help you and me to make sure that MS will come to us with a reduced speed. These medications are Avonex (interferon beta 1-a), Betaseron (interferon beta 1-b), Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), Rebif (interferon beta-1a), as well as Tysabri (natalizumab). Most of us have heard about the so-called ABC drugs (Avonex, Betaseron and Copaxone). Rebif was the drug of choice in Europe, while in America the ABCs where the big hit. Now Europe sells Avonex and co and we proudly inject Rebif.
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About the ABC Drugs

The Companies:

  • A. Avonex (Biogen Pharmaceuticals)
  • B. Betaseron (Bayer Pharmaceuticals)
  • C. Copaxone (Teva Pharmaceuticals)
  • R. Rebif (Serona and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals)

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