Rebif and flu shots

Common Questions and Answers about Rebif and flu shots

rebif

When I was on the 8mg and 22mg I never had flu like symptoms. My flu like symptoms started when I went on the 44mg shots. I think the instructions that come with rebif says you can keep the shots a room temperature for 30 days anything longer the shots have to be refrigerated.
I have site reactions from the rebif and if I do my shots in the morning I get the flu-like symptoms. I take tylenol 1 hour before my shots and do them before I go to sleep. I'm not sure about rebif and pregnacy,this you should discuss with your neuro.A friend of mine is on rebif and she had similiar symptoms ,but they have resolved. If they persist then you might want to discuss this with your neuro.
Hi there, You've received such good advice, I just wanted to say hello and mention that I'm a fellow Rebif user and give you some of my experiences. I really don't experience influenza'ish side affects. They are generally mild aches which do minimize a few months in. I have had headaches on and off. For me, there is really not a pattern of... take a shot and feel fluish, repeat everyother day misery. Initial symptoms did fade. The flu is sooo much worse.
recap: I got an official DX today and now need to make a decision- Copaxone or Rebif - I really would like all of you to weigh in and tell me of your experiences before I make my choice .... thanks for any insight you can give, Laura PS I saw the discussion going on about DXs and quick DMDs, but I want something even more specific here.....
I've been on Rebif 22mcg for over 3 years. Never missed a dose. Like you, I had history of depression, plus I also have thyroid issues. I also respond strongly to most meds, and currently take reduced doses of all my meds. I've had no relapses since starting Rebif, and would not consider going up to a full 44mcg as long as I'm doing well at 22mcg. I've had a few "morning-after" headaches, but nothing like "flu-like" symptoms, which I had feared.
As you may know, Avonex is an interferon very similar to Rebif. I started in July 08, and my MRIs for 09 and 10 have changed very little in that time. That is in comparison to worsening almost every year from 00 to 08. I am not without symptoms, of course, but all in all I feel very lucky. I think Avonex is really working for me. I suggest you do your shots just before bedtime, and make sure you premedicate with something like Aleve.
My first neuro told me that he wanted me to research and select my own DMD, just like your neuro has told you, QTpie, so I'm thinking that's your dx, right there, although it would have been good of him if he'd shared his thoughts with you! My first neuro told me that he liked Rebif and BetaSeron best and he wanted me to start on one right away.
I have MS, and recently switched from Copaxone shots (on for 5 1/2 yrs) to Tysabri infusions (I've had three) due to slow decline. I have a flu shot every fall and was wondering if I should have one this year since I'm on a new med.
Much like you, I have MS and I use an interferon (Avonex in my case). I have had flu shots in recent years with no adverse effects. I must emphasize that these were injected shots, not the mist vaccine that medical professionals have told me to stay away from. Although flu shots have worked for me, for you to have one (or to have any medical treatment) is a personal choice, not subject to any conclusions that might have been reached when it was “debated” here or in any online forum.
And, if you forget, go ahead and take it when you wake up. It should not rise to the magnitude of the actual flu virus. If you've had the flu then you know what I'm talking about. If it continues, it could be coincidental with a virus, or natural fluctuations with hormones. I know in the states we are in the thick of the season now, and it's brutal. I thought the same of Australia from the news. Do keep us posted, and hang in there. It's a good med for MS. You'll adjust with time.
I have read about Rebif and and its side effects and starting to get really nervous. Any comments, pro or cons?
I did some research on a more in-depth medical aspect and find no bad interaction with Rebif and Aspirin. In fact the swedish.org clearing shows in its rebif instructions that one can take up to 650mg of aspirin every 6 hours for relief from flu like symptoms. Perhaps you just got a weird reaction this time. I sometimes get a bad one from my Tysabri, for example, my last one was accompanied by a headache that lasted almost 24 hrs and then went away. But all others had been ok.
I've been on Rebif, 4 and 1/2 months. I started on Copaxone, but after 6 and 1/2 weeks, we found out that my "side effects", were actually a severe allergy to it, The Rebif auto-ject is easy to use, and has the finest needle. I don't even feel it go in. And that is saying something, because I am 5'2 and weigh 77#s. I take an Advil for Migraines 1/2 hour before I inject. (I didn't get them until I was on it for just over 3 months.
MY NEURO SAID YOUR GETTING REBIF AND A NURSE WILL BE OUT TO YOUR HOUSE ONCE YOU GET YOUR SHOTS.
Hey Jess, Excellent choice. I've been on Rebif since 07, and found the flu-like to be super tolerable. I've had the flu, and there is no comparison to me. I was a bit achey, and did get headaches. I pre-medicate with naproxen (500 mgs) and find it to be enough for me. It's true that you adjust after a couple of months of being on it.
I'm going to have an MRI done soon and if its not looking good I'll need to change meds again anyway. Maybe I'll just quit rebif now and have a baby, I hear being pregnant helps MS :) Sorry to be a downer, its been a really long painful two weeks of hours of wasted time......
Well a day or two of fluish symptoms is always a possiblility with the flu shots. They stimulate the immune system and that may release some interferons that cause the problem. They also can stimulate a relapse - usually a mild one. Medicate with an NSAID like Aleve or Motrin (Naproxen or ibuprofen), hydrate, and rest. Sorry it happened. I know you know this, Julie, but for any others who don't. You CANNOT catch the flu from a flu shot. Impossible. No live virus in the shot to do it.
I just got off the phone with my dad who said they are refusing to do the flu shots. My mom has lung cancer and is on chemo. She's at a very high risk. I did my best to explain to him that there are many strains of the flu that go around every year, and the shot covers several of them. Now I have even more weaponry to add to my sales arsenal in convincing him they can't afford to take a pass on the flu shot this year.
The needle is very thin for Rebif and I take a shot 3 times a week. Avonex is inter muscular and is taken once a week and Quix said the needle is very small and thin too. The flu-like symptoms do start to dwindle as time goes on. So, for me, no, not as bad as they sound. I worked, managed the house throughout, etc. Was a little tougher, but doable.
Hi Gigi and welcome. I have been on rebif for 8 months, and have gotten more used to the side effects and manage them pretty well with advil and tylenol. I don't use the autoinjector. I couldn't really be bothered with all the pieces and figuring out how to use it! (Yes I'm a bit impatient!). The company that makes REBIF has a number that you can call to speak to a nurse anytime you have questions re Rebif. I called a few times in the beginning and found them to be very helpful.
This is a daily injection, however, and some of the others are more like once to three times a week. Shots don't bother me (wierd, I know) so this was an easy choice for me. God bless you and your husband; you can do this. Hope this helps.
I have been on Rebif for 4 months and normally do my shots at night so I can sleep through the flu symptoms. Some nights before the shot I take Tylenol PM and some nights I don't. If you are not getting the flu-like symptoms then I would not worry about taking something else. I was taking two Tylenol PM at night and my Dr had me go to one. They want me taking the least amount of pain meds.
My current relapse symptoms are worst at night time when i wake up with electrical tingling and pins and needles down left leg and arm. I also feel some neuralgia in my face and pins and needles in my head. My consultant also suggested Gabapentin 100mgs twice daily increasing if necessary up to 300 mgs but I am not sure what this is for and I am not on this yet. My nerve pain is not under control at present and I am sleeping badly.
but that the potential is there that when we do get sick it can be worse or take longer to recover from. And keep in mind that the interferons (Rebif, Avonex, Betaseron) are immunosuppressants and carry similar risks. Each of our bodies is different and responds to surgery and viruses/colds differently.
For most people, interferons do cause flu-like symptoms which tend to be less and less with the passage of time. But in the huge majority of cases, symptoms can be managed by taking an OTC pain reliever such as Advil or Aleve when doing the shots. If you do this at night and go to bed right away, there is a huge chance that you will sleep through any symptoms that occur. I do. The injectable MS meds will not make lesions go away, nor will they relieve any current symptoms.
I have only been on copaxone since August but I would still choose itching over flu-symptoms any day. I can itch and still get things done. I hope everyone can figure out what works best for them with the least discomfort!
my immune system first. I have had 2 booster shots so far and a third scheduled next week as well as TB testing in the next few days. I will also probably need the Hepatitis vaccines. My understanding was that Rebif would not lower my immune system so I am slightly disappointed in my doc's decision. The nurse can't see me for another couple of weeks now. Has anyone else had to do this before starting their interferon treatment?
As for treatments he offered rebif or the other interferon, can't remember the name, but its weekly in the muscle. Figured I have the SQ injection down and so rebif is not such a jump. I am alittle worried about the flu like symptoms and liver damage. Hopefully with plenty of liquids and ibuprofin I'll be ok. I think the Doc will also order blood work to check on my liver. If he forgets, I'll remind him at the next check-up.
The flu symptoms were worse at first but left almost completely after a few months. Last year I tried to return to work. I missed quite a few shots and the flu symptoms came back including this time extreme eye pain. When I asked my Dr about it he said that headaches and eye pain were a common symptom of interferon which both Rebif and Avonex are. I went off of Interferon completely and started looking into Tysarbi the once a month IV medication. Well...
Sorry you're having a hard time with your shots. I inject with rebif 3x/week - and I kind of look at it like Alex does - It's insurance policy for me that this thing going on with me isn't going to get worse - It gives me hope and peace of mind that I have some control over this disease.
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