taking a (pharmaceutical) chance.


One and a half years ago, I started taking Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) to control my MS, which had breakthrough activity on my previous drug, Plegridy. Keep in mind that these are drugs that slow disease progress; there is no cure or known cause for our disease. But even in my seven years of illness, we’ve come a long way; I have hope!

Ocrevus is an infusion I get in a clinic/hospital every 6 months. It initially killed off all of my B cells, and the follow-ups are just like “booster shots” to make sure any re-proliferating B cells are also destroyed. If you aren’t a physiologist, these are the cells that make antibodies against foreign invaders when we get sick. So, I technically have no antibody-making capability… (yet, my bloodwork always shows some antibodies; there must be some redundancy in the immune system, which is good!)

Ocrevus was found to be highly effective at preventing MS relapses beyond the 1-year point (after first dose), hence its appeal, despite reduced immune system. However, I’m doing something that I’d otherwise never do: I’m taking a drug that hasn’t been around for that long. Sure, it went through years of clinical trials; but I’d love to see 10-year or 20-year data (I studied too much of this stuff in graduate school…)

But, when you have an aggressive form of a possibly-debilitating disease, you take calculated risks. And Ocrevus is one of mine.

So far, so good…

One Response to “taking a (pharmaceutical) chance.”

  1. 1 Steve Yool

    Brava Brooke, on staying positive! ❤

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