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mesea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 11/8/2006 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Folks,

I know I'm a worrywart, but I'm really anxious about my shot tomorrow. Those of you who are on Avonex can probably answer my question. Do the side affects include nausea. Do You actually throw up?

bye.

mesea ( anxiously awaiting my shot)

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 11/8/2006 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   

I think often the anticipation and dread is worse than the actual event, when it comes to learning how to inject yourself with any of these drugs.

I'm on Betaseron, not Avonex, but the side effects are essentially the same.  If you're thinking that "flu-like" means "throwing up", or nausea, you'd be wrong.

The "flu-like" that they talk about as the main and most common side effect is this:  a fever, chills, sometimes you shake (like you do when you get chills and a fever), headache, body ache -- like the upper respiratory distress that comes with the flu.  And some folks don't even get this, or get this for the first few shots, and then nothing thereafter.

When I started injecting Betaseron, I was taught to take something like ibuprofen (or another fever reducer, like aspirin, tylenol, or the like) about 2 hours before injecting.  And I'd inject at night, so I'd sleep through the worst of the side effects (fever, chills, body ache). I put a glass of water and a couple of ibuprofens by my bedside. If I did wake up in the middle of the night, then I'd take those and suffer for another 20 minutes until the ibuprofen "kicked in", and I'd go back to sleep.  For the first couple of months, I'd wake with a headache in the morning. Generally another couple of ibuprofen took care of it, and any left-over body aches.

Betaseron is injected every other day, so I went through this every other day, for the first couple of months. (Avonex is a once-a-week injection; generally folks will feel poorly the day after their injection, but then OK again until the next one, a week later.) I was working at a full-time job which required me to drive a circuit around my state, when I started.  I warned my employer that I was starting this new med, that it had these side effects, that at the beginning I might have to call in sick a lot...

but in fact, I never missed any work. I was able to get up, take the ibuprofen, and by the time I showered and headed out the door, cup of coffee and brief case in hand, I was fine.  There were a few days where I felt a bit "hung over", but I was still able to function and go about my business.

I should note that tylenol -- the "recommended pain reliever" for both Betaseron and Avonex -- has never done anything for me, which is why I switched to the ibuprofen.

I also want to be clear that your experience may be different: like most everything related to MS, different folks react differently to symptoms, and treatment.  But having read several different MS boards and hearing about people's reactions, generally  the reaction is the same: chills and fever and body aches and headaches for the first few injections, and then all that subsides and eventually disappears, for the most part.

I still take two ibu's before my injection...but then, I take 2 ibu's before going to bed anyway, as they seem to act as a general pain reliever (and I don't do any other prescription drugs for pain or spasticity or any of that.)

And now, after 13+ years of injecting, it's "habit".  I can do it in the dark, I can do it with my  4 cats hovering around, wanting to play with the paper and discards from the packaging; I can do it half-asleep when I've forgotten and wake in the middle of the night and remember I need to take my shot; I've done it under less-than-sterile conditions in a 3rd world country after pulling my shots (sealed in a plastic bag) from a welll -- the only place there was to keep the meds cool (back when Betaseron had to be kept refrigerated); on an airplane; and on and on.  I hope you get comfortable with it, too.

 

 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 11/8/2006 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mesea,
 
   I was just thinking about you!  I can't offer any advice on the Avonex, but wanted to wish you luck.  The first shot is always the scariest and I think most here would agree.  Once you've done it for a while though, and learn how best to deal with the side effects it should get easier.  Good luck with it, let us know how it goes!
 
Kimber
 
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rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 11/8/2006 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Mesea

Same here...can't offer any help/advice on the Avonex, but want u to know u'r in my thoughts and prayers and i'm hoping all goes well for u. Please let us know how it goes.

rhonda

TiaJoy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 11/8/2006 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
uppity explained it perfectly. I've had 4 avonex injections so far. the side effects are more of a problem then the shot itself. but each time the effects seems to get less. just make sure you take a painreliever prior to the injection and keep it in your system. ibuprofen works the best for me, and exedrin tension for the headache. You will do fine, I found out the anticipation of it was worse then the injection. good luck and let us know how it went.

mesea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 11/8/2006 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone I am positive it won't be as bad as I think because it's a monter in my mind. Since I am already disabled from my old injury I move slow and wanted to make sure I was prepared for whatever happens. I have a request. My sister has high blood pressure and the dr had to admit her into the hospital this evening. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I just lost my other sister and am very worried and scared. Thank you all.

Sheila

rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 11/8/2006 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Mesea

I will definitely keep u and u'r sister in my prayers. Please let us know how she's doing.

rhonda

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 11/8/2006 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll light a candle for your sister right now. Take care.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 11/8/2006 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Absolutely Mesea!  Sorry to hear about your sister, please keep us updated. 
 
Kimber 
 
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

mesea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 11/8/2006 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
It is so great to know that I can share my worries with you guys. None of you even really know me and your all right there to give me support. I May not be able to come back tomorrow after the shot, but rest assured I'll be back as soon as I can. Thanks

sheila

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 11/9/2006 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Mesea: Sorry to hear about your sister. I'm 52, but have had high blood pressure problems since my daughter's birth (1982). Blood pressure is very serious when not controlled, but there are TONS of both medical txs and things a person can do at home. I found that stress is the major culprit that causes my BP to skyrocket (210/110). The meds do their part, but it's up to me to do my part. I always thought that meditation was a big crock, but I have since eaten my words. It can be something both you and your sister can do together. Find your favorite place in your house (mine is the back patio ... evening is best after a long day's end), turn the lights out, light a candle (turn on soft music if desired), lean back and relax ... think of nothing and only listen to the sounds of the evening around you. No chanting, etc., just total relaxation. My BP drops back to normal in no time. Take it from someone who's been through Katrina, 12-14 hrs of hospital work and rebuilding ...you'll find it's a great way to escape from reality and anyone can use it. My sister suffers from a respiratory disease called Bronchiectasis and it helps her to relax and breathe easier. Just remember not to light a candle in a hospital room! The small light in the hosp rm will do just fine. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hope you try it! Let me know.

mesea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 11/9/2006 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
You must live down here on the coast as well. I'm from the Eastern MS coast and u can still see signs of Katrina. The further west u go the worse it gets.

I talked to my sister this morning and she said she feels better and she sure sounds a lot better. Keep sending good thoughts her way. She said that she thinks if they could get her BP and her Blood Sugar under control she thinks she will be all right. I hope and pray so. I'm not ready to lose her. Thanks for all u'r thoughts and prayers. Put me in to because I go this evening around 4cdt for my shot.

Bye,

Sheila

Sandy C.
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 11/9/2006 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My thoughts are prayers are with you and your sister. Good luck on ur first injection btw. As others have said it gets easier with time and the more you do it.
Sandy C.
Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis September 2003 currently taking Aricept 10mg PO QD, Welbutrin XL 300mg PO QD, and Provigil 200mg PO BID.

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