The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.
Review by Avonexveteran (taken for 10 years or more):
Avonex has been a God send to me. I was diagnosed in 95 after experiencing several bad attacks one of which required hospitalization. Started Avonex in June 96 one month after it came to market. Got some side effects early on (mainly fatigue) but they soon went away. I no longer have any side effects, don't even premedicate. The injections are little more than a minor inconvenience . More importantly I have remained stable with no attacks.
I did experience some fatigue when starting to use the the prefilled syringe. I quickly went back to original powdered form and remain on it to this day. I probably could have adjusted to the prefilled syringe but choose not do do so. I expect to continue with the Avonex injections unless it stops working, I develop bad side effects, or a cure is found. All unlikely scenarios at this point. I expect to be on it for life.
I was on it for 18 months. It was like taking a shot of the flu every week. The side effects never got better. After massive amounts of research, I finally went to supplements, healthy eating, mindfulness, taking toxins out of my daily life, exercise and of course prayer. I still live with my MS symptoms, but, I will work out at the gym, I will ride my bike 100 miles this week and continue working productively. Don't ever give up!
Review by Eugene Orygun (taken for 5 to 10 years):
I started Avonex about 6 months after diagnosis. I got terribly sick after injecting. It was like coming down with the flu once a week. I felt feverish and painfully achy. I took naproxen and that helped. Later on I asked my neurologist for Vicodin to help out with the achy pain. Together the medicines helped the side effects. I never miss a week and as I injected more and more, the side effects have lessened to the point that with Vicodin I can work well on my injection days. I cannot sleep thru the night on an injection. I sleep poorly and wake up in pain several times. I have not had a relapse in five years on Avonex though my balance and leg have slowly worsened somewhat. I still work my feet full time.
I was responsible for my insurance deductible, but the insurance covered the rest.
This once a week medication is very convenient, and I would recommend it. After the first few injections I had the chills and flu like symptoms, and the symptoms decreased as time went on. After the initial few issues, I injected weekly without symptoms.
I have been taking Avonex for close to 16 years and my biggest fear in the world is losing access to it. I started on Betaseron but had to stop because of injection site reactions and severe flu symptoms. I had been through everything. Complete invalidity, lying in a hospital bed to basically healthy with no noticeable symptoms at all. But since being on the Avonex, I have only very minor exacerbations , less than one per year. In the last 10+ years, I have not missed any work or cancelled any vacations for MS issues. My only problem is the cost.
I've only been on Avonex for 2 weeks, but I have not experienced any of the bad side effects that others have mentioned. Had just a slight headache the first time, and nothing today. I do take 2 ibuprofen twice on injection day, along with an Aleve and perhaps 2 liters of water. Despite my initial fears, the injection is painless.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 6 years ago. I had/have mild symptoms. I began taking Avonex immediately and have had no significant change in symptoms. I take 1 Aleve an hour before my injection. I chose the last night of my work week so I can't dread "the day." I rotate my injection-left thigh, left hip, right hip, right thigh. I think this will help avoid irritation, though I've never had a problem anyway. My husband gives me my shot so I don't have to look at the needle. I also cough because someone told me you can't tense other muscles during a cough. I relax, and he injects the needle on my second cough. Many times I don't feel a thing. When I do it's minimal. Hip shots are the easiest. I always make sure the Avonex is at room temperature.
I recommend Avonex 100%. I have had MS 8 yrs and since have had no new lesions or episodes. The flu-like symptoms were bad for the first 3 or 4 years but have since basically disappeared. Occasionally, I will have headaches the morning after the shot. Hope this helps you in your decision to choose Avonex.
I took Avonez for 3 1/2 years. I experienced the flu-like reaction about 70% of the time. I fell frequently and was extremely depressed. I did the injections in late afternoon (Friday) and was down for 24 -48 hours. My recent MRI showed more MS activity. I am now trying a different medication.
I have been an MS patient since I was 17, I am 29 now, I have been using Avonex for 10 years now and am so happy with the results. I take it before I go to bed at night on a weekend, I also take a couple of Tylenol with codeine (#1) and usually only have a slight headache when I wake up in the morning. I do get a lot of migraines, but who knows if that has anything to do with the medication or the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis. Avonex has worked wonders for me, I usually only have an MS attack on average every 3 to 4 years and they aren't usually that severe. I have relapsing and remitting MS. I would recommend Avonex to anyone who is newly diagnosed. It has changed my life.
I have been on Avonex for 1 month. I chose it due to the injections once a week. I do not even feel the needle or medication go in. I do ice the area well for 3 minutes and make sure the alcohol dries completely before injecting with the smaller needle. Each week the side effects have been easier but they are still quite strong. I do sleep 8 hours after the injection but wake feeling like I did not sleep at all and like I was run over by a truck until about 20 hours after the injection. It has taken 3 days to get my energy back so far. However I do notice that my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have improved and I have had feeling in my left foot for the first time since my first attack 3 months ago so that makes it worth sticking with for now.
While the Avonex was extremely effective on the lesions (they became smaller and some actually disappeared!). However, the side effects were severe. It literally took me out for 3 days (totally) it took about 2 more days to do anything above the bare minimum i.e. go to work, come home, eat and sleep, and I had about a day and a half to get everything else done such as grocery shopping and mowing the yard and taking out the garbage. Let alone housekeeping. I finally just switched to Copaxone due to anxiety over injecting the drug with such a large needle and to counteract the side effects of Avonex.
I have had MS for over 25 years now and have been on Avonex for about 2 months. I find the shots to be tolerable (given to me by someone else) and the side effects are not too horrible. About 6 hours after injection I have chills, muscle and joint aches and a slight headache. These effects last for approx. 4 hours. The following day I feel tired but okay. Not sure if it is helping. I HOPE SO..........time will tell. After all is said and done, the shots and the side effects are not so bad.
I have had MS for well over a decade and have been on AVONEX for 2.5 years. I believe this medicine is working well. I have had one small clinical relapse. I make sure to drink plenty of water during the day and take an ibuprofen before my injection. I have had a headache a few times the following morning. This is the only possible side effect I have had.
I used Avonex from 1997 - 2002. I did not tolerate it well. Even though I took the injection at night, and an hour after two extra strength Tylenol, I was down and out for 24 hours. I would have stayed on it because it seemed to really minimize the MS symptoms. But an MRI in 2002 showed that the MS was progressing (more plaques on the brain) so the doctor changed me to Beta-Seron. I had two relapses in the last 6 years but in the last 18 months, there has been no change and I am doing well. I tolerate the Beta-Seron well but on two occassions in the past year I had flu like reactions, which I reported.
I have used Avonex for about a month now, to treat my MS. I have a mild case, and symptoms are not too severe.
I appreciate the once-a-week injection (hate needles) but am feeling the side effects. I use the Tylenol PM when I take the injections and that does seem to help. We take the injections on Thursday, and I am able to work from home on Fridays. I am very tired, but usually better by Saturday. I definitely recommend this based on the once-a-week injection vs the daily or every-other day injection of the other choices for MS. Good Luck.
12 users found this comment helpful.
I have been using Avonex for 7 1/2 years. I can't help but believe that it is why I'm still up and walking. The injection is only once a week (huge benefit) and the side effects are manageable with Arthritis Strength Tylenol.
16 users found this comment helpful.
I have been using it for 7 years and have not had an episode since. I have a very mild case, but my diagnosis was more than 15 years ago, so I was concerned about the secondary progressive symptoms of MS...none to report to date. I have found with the flu like side effects that if I take the shot about 2 hours before bed and sleep for 6 hours without interruption, then I do not suffer from any side effects. The side effects are not as severe as in the beginning, they are just aching joints that are irritating, not "painful"
24 users found this comment helpful.
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