Thursday, November 19, 2009


What is it exactly that I have surging through my body at this very moment? 21 hours after my shot I can feel the side effects... tight and achy back, heavy neck, and I'm sooooo tired. This is every Thursday. Typically I combat this with a Thursday Wine Night which is better than 30 Tylenol! Until the next morning when I need 30 Tylenol to help combat the 2 bottles of wine. Never ending battle I tell you!

So what do I have running through my tissue that is supposed to help me fight off MS and it's potentially debilitating work on my body? Interferon Beta 1a. Well, WTF is that?

Interferons are proteins that are found naturally in the body. They are part of the immune system and normally help your body respond to infection. There are three types of natural interferons in the body: alpha, beta and gamma. The use of interferon for medical treatment became available when techniques were developed for producing large quantities of them.

Interferon alpha is used in the treatment of some cancers, but has no effect on multiple sclerosis. Interferon gamma was also found to have no beneficial effect on multiple sclerosis. However, interferon beta has shown effectiveness as a multiple sclerosis treatment.

The active ingredient in AVONEX is a type of interferon called interferon beta-1a. Only Interferon beta-1a therapies (AVONEX and Rebif®) are indicated to reduce the number of flare-ups (relapses) and slow the accumulation of physical disability. Interferon beta-1b (Betaseron®) is only indicated for decreasing the number of flare-ups. The difference between interferon beta 1a and interferon beta 1b is in how they are made.

While the exact method by which interferon beta 1a achieves its beneficial effects in multiple sclerosis remains unknown, some researchers believe it may reduce inflammation. Studies looking at how interferon beta behaves in the lab suggest it may stop harmful cells from entering the brain. This theory has not been tested in people.

Oh, is that it?

Well it makes sense. They technology to replicate proteins that I make - that help my immune system... it all makes sense. But the mystery of it all - the actual reasons why it all works - and in some and not always in the same way... boggles my brain. When I try to think about it my mind might as well melt out of my ears.

I want to know more... why do I have these side effects. IF the protein overload too much for my body? Are some being rejected? Am I actually feeling the liquid move through my body? How is it is stays in me for 1 week? I'm being quite inquisitive today I must admit.

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