As I walked into my neurologist's office yesterday at 4pm, I still hadn't completely decided what medication I was going to go on for my MS.
Honestly, none of the choices are all that appealing....
If I went back to Copaxone (three times per week injections), the possibility was very good that I would experience the symptoms I did when I initially started this drug so many years ago (because I have been "off" it for almost a year now!). Those lovely side effects included at site swelling/itching/pain and flushing as the biggest offenders. And, I have had breakout lesions while I was on this medication before. I know that nothing is foolproof but it doesn't make me happy to go through injections to not have any results.
But...the new oral medications have their own set of lovely issues too!
One in particular (cough cough! I'm looking at you Aubagio!) can cause significant hair loss (!) and I would need to have an IUD implanted because my neurologist said I could absolutely positively NOT get pregnant while on this drug. Even though I don't plan on getting pregnant and use condoms (sorry TMI), he told me that wasn't good enough. The risk is too high.
The second possible oral (Gylenia) would interfere with one of my other medications and has the highest risk of something called PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy). Basically it's a scary ass brain disease that can progress to coma and death. Now, I will admit that the risk isn't crazy high but still high enough to make me nervous.
All this leads me to Tecfidera (the last choice in orals). It has the lowest risk of PML over the course of its existence. However, the first month of being on this medication can be sheer hell. The biggest side effects are flushing and GI issues (mainly diarrhea) which will eventually taper off. But, before it tapers off? From what Papa has filled me in about it (I started to read about this stuff but began to freak out so I left it up to him to research as usual), it's not very pretty.
Oh and, with all three orals, I would need frequent bloodwork since my kidneys and liver have to be monitored as well.
Yup, I wasn't excited with my choices one little bit.
In the end, it was down between the devil I know (Copaxone) and the devil I don't but seems to have the least risks overall (Tecfidera).
I chose the Tecfidera - mostly because we were questioning if the Copaxone was even working anymore when I was on it. But, I wish I felt better about my choice. Truthfully though? I don't think I would be comfortable with any of the choices completely.
Maybe I am just having a hard time because the fact that I am "sick" is glaring at me again....even though I feel pretty damn good.
I wish I had a crystal ball. I wish someone could tell me if this is the right choice.
I guess only time will be able to tell us right?
After I drop the Guppies off at the high school, I'm off to get my initial "baseline" bloodwork done. I'm hoping that, after a couple of days, I can shake this mood of mine off!