What Are the Side Effects of Interferon Therapy For MS?

One the most common medications used to treat the symptoms of MS is Interferon therapy. Beta Interferon therapy is considered a disease modifying agent, this means that the medication is designed to alter the way the disease continues to behave in the patient’s body rather than actually offer any type of relief from the current symptoms.  However due the nature of the medication and its ability to suppress the immune system there have been reports of side effects that can range from mild to very serious and a patient should take the time to be aware of all of them before making the choice to use this type of therapy.

One of the most common side effects of Interferon therapy is a flu like illness. These symptoms range from chills and headaches to muscle and joint pains. They can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While most patients can gradually become tolerant of these unpleasant side effects over time and can take drugs like ibuprofen to help lessen the impact of the symptoms they are none the less very unpleasant.

Psychiatric side effects of Interferon therapy for MS have received a lot of coverage and while many are not sure if they are a result of the drug or the disease it is being use to treat, it must be noted. Most multiple sclerosis patients are at risk for depression and studies show that these risks are elevated in many patients who are undergoing Interferon therapy and should be closely monitored. Other mental issues that have been noted with this type of therapy are irritability, confusion, emotional instability and insomnia. If the patient exhibits any of these side effects immediate medical help should be consulted.

Among the list of the more severe side effects of Interferon therapy for MS is the possibility of developing thyroid dysfunction and or liver disease. Due to these increased risks patients should be continuously monitored for these issues. Women who are either pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should not undertake Interferon as a recent study has shown a significant rise in the rate of stillbirths and low birth weight babies to those on therapy. Before undergoing any form of medication and therapy do your research and make an informed decision as to what is best for you and your body.

Sinus Infection – The Rapidly Increasing Problem

Sinus infection is the problem that affects the cavities around the nose or inflammation to the sinuses. It is common by the name sinusitis across the world. This infection is spreading very rapidly and millions of people get affected by this every year. It is an infection which is very painful and makes the life of the patient uncomfortable. It is caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses which shows sinus headache symptoms and difficulties in the breathing. The air or mucus gets blocked in the sinuses causing severe pain.

Sinus infections are mostly caused due to the common cold. The other causes are increase in the air pressure, pregnancy which changes the hormones of the females. Asthma and genetic disorders can also cause sinusitis. Even the anatomy of nose and any accident which disturbs the structure of nose can cause this problem.

The symptoms of the sinus infections are severe headaches, swelling around the eyes, loss of smell, pain in the cheeks and blocked nose which ultimately leads to high fever and weakness in the body. Acute sinus can also lead to complications in the brain but this is very rare case. This sinus can only be treated by surgery which will treat the infection forever.

The sinus infections is categorized into three types depending on the duration of the infection: acute which last up to three weeks, chronic lasting up to more than eight weeks and recurring that causes frequent attacks in a period of time. This infection can also be classified as frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid and maxillary sinuses.

If the sinus headache symptoms are seen in a person it is better to consult the doctor to encounter the problem at its initial stage. There are various treatments for the sinus infections including treatment with antibiotics, home remedies and even surgeries. The antibiotics prescribed by the doctor are decongestants, intranasal corticosteroids and mucolytic agents. These antibiotics are not suitable for everyone. It is said that the usage of antibiotics should be minimum as they can cause negative effects like allergies so the best are the home remedies and natural care like consumption of juice of ripe grapes or jalapeno pepper, inhalation of steam and applying of ginger paste for getting cured from this infection. Sinus infections that are not cured through medication, needs surgery. The most common surgery recommended by the doctor is functional endoscopic sinus surgery.Sinus infection is the problem that affects the cavities around the nose. It is caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses which shows sinus headache symptoms. There are various treatments for this infection like treatment with antibiotics, home remedies and even surgeries.

Prednisone and Corticosteroids for MS: Helpful Tips

It is amazing how frequently the subject of steroids comes up. Just in the last two weeks, three people told me they were on Prednisone and they were all irritable about the side effects. One was taking them for sinus problems; another was taking Prednisone for arthritis. The third was taking them for an MS flare-up.

They are powerful drugs and are prescribed often for people with and without MS. Why? Because their primary purpose is to reduce inflammation. And inflammation occurs in all parts of the body, and these drugs do help.

But there is much to know about steroids, and unfortunately, the doctor and the pharmacist never tells it all. The first experience with steroids is horrifying to say the least, and creates tremendous confusion and stress. I personally hated them in the beginning, but after I understood my own body’s reactions and the fact that they did work for me, steroids became my friend.

For folks with MS, corticosteroids (“steroids”)–usually Solu-Medrol and Prednisone–are used to reduce the duration and severity of a flare-up (or exacerbation, or attack). Solu-Medrol is given intravenously for 3-5 days usually at home (about 1-2 hours per day). Prednisone is given orally usually over a 10-14 day period, beginning with a very high dosage (e.g. 80 mg/day works for me) and tapering down the last week to 10 mg. by the last day.

What to know about steroids:

  • Again, the purpose of steroids is to reduce inflammation. When the dosage is high, the immune system will become suppressed. Therefore, you want to take all measures to keep your resistance up and your exposure to infections, colds and viruses low. If you currently have an infection or virus causing the flare-up, try to get rid of the infection/sickness before getting on the steroids if possible.
  • A very common side effect of steroids is water retention. Eliminate as much salt as you can from your diet while taking them. This goes beyond table salt. Canned, frozen and packaged foods, pickles, condiments, luncheon meats, etc. are loaded with sodium; so avoid these and eat bland and fresh foods. Often, people will get what they call a “moon face”; the face can become full and rounded.
  • Appetite usually increases when taking steroids, so stick to snacks like carrot sticks, celery, apples, or unsalted popcorn. The sacrifice of a strict food regime for a maximum of two weeks is well worth the extra pounds you won’t gain and have to worry about later.
  • Once you start steroids, follow the complete program and do not just quit taking them. If you do, it can inhibit your adrenal glands from producing the natural amount of cortisol later.
  • A universal complaint is insomnia. Speak with your doctor about sleeping pills. Even with a sleeping pill, you may only get four to six hours of sleep. Try to read, do paperwork, or anything that will keep you from dwelling on not sleeping.
  • There are many other side effects when taking steroids; the amount, type, duration will be different for everyone. For example, I get supercharged and euphoric when I’m on steroids, especially when they kick in and my symptoms are improving. I also get very constipated. Other frequent complaints include irritability and mood swings. If you are anxious, consider asking your doctor about an anxiety pill to minimize stress.
  • For women, it is not proven yet whether steroids affect birth control pills. It is always a good idea to use additional protection while on steroids.
  • Try to temper your expectations and not compare yourself to anyone else. Some people respond faster and better than others. Take notes everyday about what is improving, what isn’t, how much… It will help with your next episode. You will learn your own body reactions and patterns as time goes on.
  • When a steroid program is finished, a person will often go into drug withdrawal. Symptoms may worsen again, and different side effects can pop up. For me, I get the shakes, anxiety, weepy, acne, some hair loss, sleepy; and my symptoms will be worse than before I even got on the steroids. After my “withdrawal” period, my symptoms will adjust to what will be normal for me; and all of the other side effects from steroids will go away. After having been on steroids on average of twice a year over the course of my MS, I’ve learned what to expect and how to ride it out.
  • There are serious side effects to using steroids over a long length of time-like months or even years. These include things such as bone density loss. As always, one needs to weigh the benefits against the positives when taking any drug.

Sometimes, steroids work for a person, and sometimes they don’t. And of course, all people react to a drug differently–both in response to the effectiveness and to the side effects.

All you can do is try. If it works, great; if it doesn’t, well something else will have to be tried to alleviate the problem.

The Drive Duet Transport Chair Rollator Review

My MS has progressed to the point that I don’t go out in public without walking assistance. With Multiple Sclerosis some days I need a walker and others a wheelchair; everyday is an adventure! Some days I can walk at least short distances and others I need to be pushed around! You can imagine my relief when I found The Drive Duet Transport Chair Rollator! Every time I am using my rollator, either by walking or sitting, someone comments!

When I am shopping, I can walk around the store, stop and sit until I’m recharged and strong enough to walk again.

If I’m getting pushed, this transport chair also features a comfortable footrest that folds down when being used as a wheel chair or folds up and out of the way when being used as a walker.

The Drive Duet Transport Chair Rollator is one of the first products to combine a walker and wheel chair into one easy to use mobility device. It only weighs about 19 pounds and is one of the few transport chairs that folds up so it’s easy to get into the trunk or the back seat of the car or fit alongside a bed when not in use.

The Duet features a comfortable, contoured back rest that has two adjustable positions that can be attached to the front or back providing maximum user comfort.

There is also a seat lock on The Duet Transport Chair Rollator that prevents the duet from accidentally folding up when in use or unfolding when being removed from the trunk. The comfortable padded seat even lifts up, providing easy access to the large carrying pouch and so no space is wasted.

The large 8 casters (wheels) provide a smooth ride over any surface whether you are being pushed or using the walker. I have found that when crossing the threshold of doors in public buildings, the ‘driver’ of this wheel chair often needs to back in to get over the bump.

Duet Transport Chair Rollator weighs 19 lbs so it’s not too heavy to lift into the trunk. When the Rollator is open it’s about 25.5 inches wide and 37 inches high.

I have honestly been able to keep my mobility with the convenience of this walker that converts into a wheel chair! I have been able to travel all over the country alone. I fly with airlines who provide assistance to push me to the proper gate, where I can walk around until departure time. When I’m ready to board the plane I turn the walker around, sit, flip the footrest down the handles up and sit comfortably until the assistant is ready to push me to the plane entrance.

Like I said, I don’t get pushed around in public without people commenting! I decided to become an affiliate for The Drive Duet Transport Chair Rollator. When you buy it from my site, MSrelief.com, I’ll receive a small commission for your purchase at no extra cost to you. Knowing the satisfaction you’ll receive from this purchase warms my heart

Find your joy,

Linda