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This is Part 2 of interferons. If you would like to read Part 1 first, click here.

The difference in interferons

What's the difference between the all of these medications, you ask? With Avonex, you take the injection once-a-week, and it's intramuscular, as I said earlier. With Rebif, the injection is subcutaneous like Betaseron and it is taken three days a week.

Cir met with the Rebif nurse (she was really nice), who trained him on how to give himself the injection. She also suggested that I along with our daughter (who was 14 at the time), learn how to give the injection, just in case.

This is standard procedure for anyone who wants to begin taking Rebif. They have a very nice system in place for helping you learn. And if any problems or questions come up, you have her number. You can call whenever you need help. And she made follow-up calls about once a month.

ABC's and CRABS 

With the addition of Rebif, the ABC drugs (C being Copaxone), became known as the CRAB drugs for MS. They are all interferons except for Copaxone, which is glatiramer acetate.

Just didn't work

flu symptoms

Unfortunately for Cir, all of these treatments caused flu-like symptoms for him. For some, these will lessen or go away entirely with time. For Cir, they never did, and at times they would get worse. Having the "flu" every week with Avonex and then every other day with Betaseron and Rebif was too much to handle.

He lasted the longest with Avonex. But after a really difficult incident which included fever and chills lasting longer than normal, he decided to "throw in the towel". Interferons just didn't seem to agree with him.

He even tried taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) before the injections. He tried taking them in the evening so that when he woke up the symptoms would have passed. That didn't work either. He still woke up with the "flu".

His body just didn't react well to them. If you can tolerate them, this treatment may work well for you. Talk to your doctor and then decide along with them which one would work best for you.

Other treatments

You may end up liking it an if not, there are other treatments available. Cir took Copaxone for a long time. It's also an injection.

But because it is glatiramer acetate and not an interferon, he was able to tolerate it much better. To read more about Copaxone, click here.

cup of tea

If injections just aren't your "cup of tea", you may want to try an alternative treatments for MS. Click the link to find out more. 

Go to Part 2 back to Interferon 

Go from Part 2 back to Multiple Sclerosis Medicines 

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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