How long do Plegridy side effects last? I have just started the treatment and feel grim it has exacerbated all my current symptoms and added more to the mix.
Can anyone who has been on it advise please. I was on Copaxone for years with no side effects but was having problems with injection sites. Tried Tecfidera but that was horrendous on the side effects. I am worried I have made my situation worse.
I know MS is not black and white but am struggling to know if I have made the correct decision. It also troubles me that there are I am told only a very few people on it in my area so a small pool of knowledge.
Any help would be greatly appreciated 😃
Plegridy is like any other interferon treatment and associated with the well known 'flu like' side effects. These usually consist of muscle aches, malaise (basically fatigue), fever and headaches. These symptoms from immune activation can transiently worsen some of your MS symptoms. Plegridy is also a subcutaneous injection that can create delayed injection site reactions developing over 1 to 4 days. Of course, the benefits of Plegridy include the sustained action over more than 2 weeks and the reduced injection interval ( every 2 weeks).
If you are not able to control the flu like side effects with ibuprofen (600 to 800 mg) three times a day or naprosyn 440 mg twice a day (2 Aleve tablets) beginning the day of injection and continuing for 4 days then switching to prednisone 10 mg twice a day (first dose before the injection) for 3 days usually does the trick and is well tolerated. You would need a prescription from your doctor for prednisone. If any of these medications upset your stomach, take them with food and Pepcid (famotidine) 20 mg twice a day.
Usually the side effects from Plegridy lessen significantly within 3 months of starting treatment. If you follow these suggestions and still experience unacceptable side effects after 2-3 months you should consider an alternative treatment. The alternative recommended by your MS specialist will depend on your risk factors, age, co-morbid conditions and lifestyle. Oral medications like Aubagio and Gilenya are very well tolerated and effective.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego
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