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After speaking to the Avonex nurse about titration, I asked her how Avonex works as it's a question that i find difficult to get an answer to.
She sent me a dvd....it was about ms, relapses and Avonex. I was the most useless thing i've ever seen so i threw it in the bin!!

Looking on the Avonex website, it says that it helps to repair the holes in the blood brain barrier that is caused by ms to stop harmfull cells from getting into the cns. It says that it also modifies immune cells outside the cns so that if they do cross the blood brain barrier they will work to fight ms inflammation.
Has anyone heard this before? None of this was mentioned in the dvd.

Sorry, I know I should know this already but these interferons confuse me!!

If you read the book, the professor has serious issues with their research and a large study out of Canada and one out of the UK were unable to find any measurable difference in progression long-term. So you're not likely to hear much positive about them on this site.

All the interferons work the same way. There is consensus that they reduce MRI activity and that they reduce the number of exacerbations, at least in the first two years. It is theorized that they help to prevent holes in the blood brain barrier - this has been demonstrated in the lab, but not in humans to the best of my knowledge. Although the same drug as Rebif, Avonex studies might be called more robust than those for rebif in that the primary endpoint (the main goal) was delay of progression. As stated above, whether they help or not is contentious and it depends on who you ask the question.

Regarding the DVD - I'm not sure what country you're in, but in the US, there are things they would like to say but are restricted to only what has been shown in trials. Avonex and Copaxone were recently forced to scale back the claims they could make about the effectiveness of their drugs. If you're even slightly more intelligent that the average person, you'll recognize it's just an advertisement.

Bottom line: Avonex and other interferons reduce the number of exacerbations. They may reduce progression, but it is not proven and many people feel they are not worth the risk. Side effects are pretty bad, but you can get used to them. If you are going to take a DMD, Copaxone is the safest with the fewest side effects. If you are going to take an Interferon, Avonex is the smallest dose, which may make it a better choice than the others.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
Thanks Alex,

I'm in Australia, you're right about the dvd being an advertisement.
That's why i threw it out, there was nothing informative in it at all.
Advertising is an amazing art form that can lead to abuse. My Avonex brochure was relatively mild. They had a few pictures, none too active - just normal and a whole passport and travel motif. I suppose if they could, they'd show everyone skydiving and climbing mountains. Consider those commercials for useless fitness equipment where the results are overstated.

What bothers me is the more subtle advertising done by Biogen Idec for their Tysabri product. They get "news reports" placed in reputable news outlets such as the BBC and in the US, PBS and local stations who are unknowing accomplices making a report on recent advances in MS. Tysabri isn't new, but you'd think that a cure had been recently discovered.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
Alex, in my DVD they showed 2 people that had a couple of symptoms and they kept harping on about how important it is to stay on avonex even you're having relapses.
Maybe they think people with ms have less brain cells and we aren't aware that they're advertising and telling us rubbish!!

Even the ms nurse was just basically reading from a script about how amaaaaazing avonex is!
How very sad!


OMG December 2011 OMS January 2012 OMS Retreat March 2012 Benign MS Sep 2015
Two Very Mild Relapses since diagnosis. Copaxone May 2013 No new lesions on MRI since diagnosis
Unfortunately, the DVD is not underestimating the market:

People take DMDs and stop because they don't feel better
People stop because they have an exacerbation and decide the DMDs aren't working

I follow one guy's blog who has started and stopped rebif twice, started and stopped tysabri once and has "tried" diet twice.

This website is self-filtering attracting a more literate crowd.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
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