Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tysabri - My MS Therapy

I switched my MS therapy to Tysabri in 2008.  I had been on Avonex for a year and a half and finally had found somewhat of a routine with the weekly shots.  I became more comfortable after finding out about a prescription numbing cream (see blog #2 “Miracle Cream”) and slowly had less and less side effects. After getting MRI results, my neurologist informed me that Avonex was no longer working for me.
I had a couple options, the ones I was considering were Copaxone, a daily injection or Tysabri, a monthly infusion. I was fairly certain that I would go with Tysabri, just because I found out after being diagnosed with MS that I had a needle phobia. I really couldn’t see myself getting a shot every day. Also, at this point Abe, my husband, had to give me my shots and I didn’t want to have to depend on him or anyone else for them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give myself the injections either.

I was a little nervous about starting on Tysabri.  It had been taken off the market at one point as a handful of people had developed PML, a rare brain infection that can leave you in vegetative state or be fatal.  My neurologist informed me that I would be closely monitored. I felt comfortable with the decision to start Tysabri and scheduled my first infusion.
I have now been on Tysabri for over 4 years. I am so thankful I made this choice.  Within the last year there has been a blood test that can detect if you have been exposed to the JC Virus, which puts you at risk for PML.  The last two years I have tested negative. For me, Tysabri has worked so well. Not only is my quality of life been better because I no longer have to worry about shots (as soon as the shot was over, I started having anxiety about the next shot) but I haven’t had a relapse since my first infusion!

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