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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tecfidera - Day 4

Well, I am still breathing and am experiencing no weird symptoms other than the horrible flushing that seems to have abated; possibly due to the bay aspirin; possibly due to multiple doses and my body adapting to this new intrusion of chemicals. Such is the way with MS. Everything is an hypothesis (one of my students favorite vocabulary words as they find it comes in handy at times of class argument).

So, to clear up the mud a bit, "Tecfidera [dimethyl fumarate] is a prescription medicine used to treat people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis." Got that? Tells you everything needed, right?
Tecfidera is a pill form of MS treatment that is far less painful than the alternating-daily needle of Beta Seron that I once  enjoyed. Just because it is less painful to consume makes it no less scary, though. I mean, putting any alien chemical in one's body is not and had never been on my bucket list of life experiences. I will admit that I like beer and thoroughly enjoy a glass or two of sweet wine, but that is actually as far as my chemical pleasures go. I am not a pill person and avoid over the counter cold and sinus remedies if I can battle those situations with vitamin C, lots of liquids, and bed rest. So, this whole Tecfidera thing is not my normal MO.




Tecfidera, as with any MS medication, will not cure MS nor will it "make me better". What Tecfidera and all the other MS drugs do is (supposedly and hopefully)  reduce the number of relapses (or exasperation). According to my handy dandy Tecfidera user's guide "27% of people taking Tecfidera ezxperienced a relapse compared with 46% of people taking placebo, making them 49% less likely to experience a relapse...This means that less than 3 our of 10 people taking Tecfidera experienced a relapse." I guess I am crazy, but I am less concerned about relapses than I am about what this drug is doing to my brain. Of course my user guide doesn't mention the rare, but possible, side effect of brain infection associated with this drug. Supposedly as long as my neuro keeps an eye on my white blood cell count things will be okay. My guide booklet tells me that I can report any side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or for more information I can log on to dailymed.nlm.nig.gov. Reassuring, I know.

I apologize if my take on Tec is far too cynical for you, my reader; it's just a way of venting, I suppose. MS just sucks and "that is all I'm going to say about that" (Forrest Gump), at least for now.

I did get a cute little pill box from biogen, the pharmaceutical company that produces MS drugs. So, along with my growing collection of designer canes, I now have an attractive reminder to take my pills twice a day.

If you want to know more about Tecfidera, go to www.tecfidera.com and to learn more about multiple sclerosis, visit nationalMSociety.org.

Enough about me and my drug dependency; I am going to go on a little day adventure with my parents and Aunt Sandra. Have a great day!
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