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My Decision

I’m switching from Avonex to Tecfidera because I’m afraid that staying on no MS disease modifying drug is too much like playing Russian Roulette.

Tecfidera has joined Aubagio (teriflunomide) and Gilenya (fingolimod) to become the third oral disease-modifying therapy for MS available in the US.

It has been around for many years abroad as a treatment for psoriasis, also an autoimmune disease. The most common side effects from Tecfidera are flushing and gastrointestinal events, such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. These occurred in up to 60% of patients, however they were usually pretty mild and only lasted a couple of weeks.

Compared to placebo, Tecfidera reduced the risk of relapsing (over 2 years) by about 50%, whereas Copaxone only reduced the risk by 29%.There was a 21-38% reduction in risk of disability progression over two years in people on Tecfidera, whereas Copaxone users only had a 7% reduction in risk of disability progression.

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4 Comments

  1. fairydisenchantment says:

    I’m in the same boat — was just prescribed Tecfidera after 2 years limping along (sometimes literally) with Avonex… I wish you luck and will look forward to seeing how well we both do with the new therapy!

  2. Holly says:

    I am planning on doing the same. I’m in a weird spot though. I am in the middle of switching neurologists and the one I am leaving prescribed the Tecfidera starter pack and said I could start it anytime. He said this in an email reply where I let him know when I was doing my last dose of Avonex. The only issue is that in the same email, he also gave me incorrect MRI info (said that with my 2013 scans they showed no changes since 2003…in 2012, he said I had a few new small lesions – have those emails saved). So, I am out of Avonex at this point and have the Tecfidera starter pack – just a bit weary about starting it this week. And the office I’m transferring to is in the process of getting my medical records and then I may not get an appt until June. Hmph 😛

    • FixMsNow says:

      I’m still waiting to get the medication. I got a welcome letter from Biogen, the company that makes Tecfidera, but no insurance approval or pills. I feel better than ever being on no meds!
      If I was you, I wouldn’t use the starter pack until you are settled in with your new neurologist just in case you have any unusual side effects.

      • Holly says:

        Yeah. I couldn’t wait to start on Tecfidera. I even had a dream that it was approved before it was. Ha 😛 But, I think I will have to wait seeing that it’s so new still. Thank you for your reply. 🙂

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