There is so little research about whether Avonex or interferons make Scleroderma worse. Any thoughts on that or any new research being done?
One more question...at what point, week wise if injection site reactions don't disappear with Plegridy do you go back to your doctor to discuss getting off this drug? Should all bruising, redness be gone by week 3,4, 5 or longer?
Interferon-beta (IFB) has been associated with onset of systemic inflammatory conditions (most notably lupus) and should be avoided if previously diagnosed. Lupus, RA, systemic sclerosis are diseases where over expressed genes happen to be IFN inducible genes which gives this association plausibility.
I was able to find references to ~11 or 12 cases of reported systemic sclerosis (with skin manifestations) on interferon-beta treatment for MS. Although these numbers are rare, we live in an era of MS therapeutics where you have more options than IFN. It may be worthwhile to speak to your neurologist about your circumstances and concerns and other options.
Injection site reactions can occur. I'd suggest evaluating the injection technique with a nurse as a first step.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologist and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente