Last reply 3 years ago
Avonex

Hi folks 🙂

I’m starting Avonex on Friday.

Any help or suggestions on how to get though my side effects, or injection tips for when I start doing my own?
How have you found Avonex, do you feel it has helped your relapses at all?

I’m excited and nervous so i’ll be glad to get it over and done with.

Thanks in advance. 🙂

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stumbler
3 years ago

Hi @LadyCaroline , you can find a lot of this information by using the forum’s search capability (the magnifying glass, top right) and searching for Avonex.

Personally, I can’t help you on Avonex as I did a 5 year stint on Betaferon, but that just became part of my normal routine.

Did Avonex. or Betaferon, work? Well, that’s the unanswerable question. You just never know how you would be if you hadn’t taken it.

But, it’s all about you and your management of your MS. Adopting a DMD is your way of exerting some control over this condition. 😉


bloomers1968
3 years ago

Take some Ibuprofen, keep hydrated and dont panic it should get better. I did 3+ years on avonex and unfortunately it didnt work for me (they can only tell you after years on it)


billpat1
3 years ago

Hi on avonex for a year. First month fine, then went a bit down hill. Ibuprofen an hour before, and then I done 15 mins. of ice pack on where I was going to inject and then 5 mins. after. This seemed to help with the bruising afterwards. Kept on top of pain killers for 24 hours. Good luck hope this helps.


seliiii
3 years ago

I was on Avonex for just over a year before stopping to try to conceive (now currently 17 weeks pregnant).
Had no relapses at all for the time I was on Avonex, and I have very active disease activity off it.

Drink at least 1 pint of water before the injection and also take ibuprofen, continue to drink water after too. I found it easiest to do the injection before going to bed, that way you’ll sleep through the worst of the side effects. If you wake up in the night, take more ibuprofen. The side effects will ease off after a few months.

I hated having the injections but having been off Avonex for nearly a year now and 6 relapses later I’m excited to get back on it!


sarahbee
3 years ago

I was on Avonex for ten years, and switched to Tecfidera two weeks ago.

I don’t want to comment on relapse rates, because everyone is different, but below is how I took Avonex.

I took my Avonex in the evening. In the first few months I took Ibuprofen at tea-time before the injection, and then in the morning with breakfast.

After a year, I took Ibuprofen at tea-time only. If I forgot the Ibuprofen, I took it the next day if I began to experience flu-like symptoms to knock them on the head (and, if they did appear, I could have set my watch by them – between 2 – 3pm the next day).

I alternated leg every week for the injection, and always sat down to administer it.

For the injection itself, I found that numbing myself with an icepack in the evening made me miserable and I discovered that, if I gently tapped the point of the needle over my skin, I would find my own numb spot, as the skin isn’t covered with pain receptors.

Then I would sort of ‘bounce’ the needle in, slowly easing it in, then waiting before pushing a bit more. I did this over a course of a minute. And, if it really, really hurt, then I would withdraw the needle, and try again in a different spot.

It was strange, but the needle sort of felt like it was being sucked in, so I never had to really push hard.
And, when it came to pulling the needle out, I did this slowly too, in stages.
Ta Dah!

It takes practice.

My other top tip is to do your injection in a room by yourself to avoid a) distraction and b) someone bouncing on the bed, just you are sat down with the needle half in!

I hope this is helpful. Good luck!


thecuriosity
3 years ago

I’ve been using avonex on the injector pen for a few months now, and I’ve found the hardest part the flu like symptoms as I have to inject in the mornings because of my job(most advice I’ve seen is to take it in the evenings).

I’d advise having paracetamol 30 mins before, try to relax so it’s less stressful/uncomfortable when injecting and have a bit of time after to just relax/sleep. Im not a fan of needles but now it is a less than 5 minute job. Also, keep a note of where you inject, so you can rotate sites. I drew on my leg and took pictures so I could use that to identify roughly areas by my moles, although I’ve been joking that I might get them tattooed for ease of identification.

You should have your Ms nurse around when you take your first injection and if they’re anything like mine, they are a great help.

Good Luck!


lady-caroline
3 years ago

Thanks folks for your support and info.
Just as a wee up date, I had my first jab on Friday and all went very well.

I had the injection at 2pm and felt fine until 5/5.30m once i noticed that my back and shoulder where beginning to ache a bit it came on very fast and all of a sudden I was exhausted!
So, i took two paracetamol, a glass of full fat coke and lay down on the couch and with in 3 hours i was back to ”normal”. 🙂 If anything i was little giddy ( probably from the caffeine in the coke, I’m normally totally caffeine free).

That night i slept terribly, but this wouldn’t be uncommon for me when I’m a bit stressed out. So I’m booked for my second one next week and hopefully if i take my paracetamol earlier I won’t be effected as much or if at all.

I feel so positive about this now, i was really concerned i was going to be ill for ages. So fingers crossed it will work on my relapse rate and help reduce the effect of them when they come.

So YAY! I’m a Happy lady. 😀


stumbler
3 years ago

Great to hear, @Lady.Caroline . 😀


highheeledfagin
3 years ago

I take both ibuprofen and paracetamol – one for the pain, the other for the fever – and inject before bed so that I can sleep through the worst of it. I keep a snack by my bed to eat when I wake up and then take another ibuprofen.

The side-effects are rarely as bad as when I first started a few years back but I still get a bad one once in a while. I’m usually a bit rubbish until lunchtime and then everything is fine. In the four years that I’ve been on it, I’ve only had the one relapse, but who knows if that was because of the Avonex?

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