dosage increase tonight

29Nov12

I am one of the many relapsing-remitting MS patients who injects beta-interferon 3x/week (trade name Rebif). It might sound terrible, but it’s really a fine-gauge needle that I barely feel. The first injection was the worst, not knowing what to expect. Now, it’s routine.

Because of the side effects that differ for everyone in severity, the dose gets ramped up. My first two weeks, I injected about 20% of what will eventually be my final dose. Tonight, I increase that to 50% of the final dose.

My first injection, I didn’t take the suggested NSAIDS to counter the flu-like side effects and felt nothing. I’ve had no local injection site reactions (some people have redness and soreness at the site) and I had no fever, chills, or achiness that evening.

Shortly after starting the Rebif, however, my MS specialist suggested I go on high-dose IV prednisone for a few days, as my recent MRI showed evidence of my last relapse still continuing on. 5 g of prednisone does weird things to your body… I’ve only been off of that for 1 1/2 weeks, and I think I’m still feeling the letdown (and it also immunosuppressed me, so I caught a minor head cold).

And this is why I’m having trouble distinguishing side effects: am I feeling run down because of the steroids? Is it truly Rebif side effects that I didn’t feel with the first shot, but I am now? Is it how my body is reacting to having a cold on top of all of this? Mind and body are thoroughly confused. I’m hoping something will taper off so that the variables will clear up.

The cold feels like it’s almost better, so I should definitely learn a bit more after tonight’s shot.

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