Hi DawnMA, thanks for reaching out. I wanted to ask the forum some general questions about some of the newer MS drugs. Particularly Tecfidera and Plegridy. I've been on Avonex since 2008 and it's worked well but I'm not sure if it's having the same effect as it did 6 years ago. I'm concerned with the potential side effect of acquiring PML with Tecfidera, a deadly brain disease. It seems that beta interferons like Avonex are safer in terms of potentially deadly side effects. Plegridy is a form of… read more
AsumptoteAL you and I are thinking on similar levels. I have only used Avonex since my diagnosis in 2008 and it has worked for me. The numbness and tingling my hands and face stopped the next day after my first injection. Numbness and tingling would normally ensue if I ran and performed any jarring type of body movement.
This past year I noticed my right leg being a little unstable which had me looking around for other possibilities. Pledigry seems like a logical choice because it's probably an advanced form of Avonex, still being a beta interferon. My MRI's seem to be stable and I'm functioning well so there is no urgency for me to try a drug like Tecfidera right now.
Pledigry is a drug I'm watching but I believe it's only been FDA approved since August. My neurologist and I like a drug to be on the market at least one year before prescribing. One year is a good time to review, analyze, and gauge the effects of the drug.
I just switched to Plegridy after about 4 years of being on Avonex. The injection itself is much better - it feels like a tiny pinch, and the muscle aches/flu-like symptoms seem to be much milder than with Avonex. I have had some injection site redness, though. I've only done 2 Plegridy injections so far, so I'm going to try heat or cold packs after the next one to see if it helps. Even with the slight injection site reactions, I'm probably still going to stick with it - only 2 shots a month, and SQ injecting is much more comfortable than IM.
I looked into Tecfidera as well, but since my MS has been stable on Avonex, I decided to go the Plegridy route. It wasn't necessarily physically injecting that bothered me, but more so trying to travel and keep up with weekly shots - every two weeks makes that easier. If I have more relapses and/or lesions on my next MRI, I might consider switching to Tecfidera, but for now I'm sticking with interferon.
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