Just a quick update --
On Monday, I will begin a new treatment called Intravenous Immunoglobulin (or IVIG). My neurologist recommended IVIG based on the results of my latest MRI results and the magnitude of my relapses during 2010. He believes my MS is a more aggressive form of relapsing-remitting and wants to go on offense against the disease. Naturally, I was quick to agree.
IVIG will be administered to me, once a month, over a 2-3 day span. The number of days and hours it will take each day depends on how my body reacts to it. Our plan right now is that I will go to the infusion center (located on the same floor as my neurologist) on Monday and Tuesday and it will last about 4-5 hours each day. That's the best estimate right now, anyway. I still take my daily injection of Copaxone; IVIG doesn’t replace Copaxone, it just joins the battle to fight MS.
IVIG isn't an "MS drug”, in fact, it’s not FDA approved for multiple sclerosis. It's more commonly used in leukemia and is also in Phase III test for Alzheimer's. However, it is used "off label" for multiple sclerosis, often when the patient's current therapy option is not performing successfully.
I will be loading up on liquids (water and more specifically Gatorade) starting this weekend in advance of Monday to hopefully offset some of the common flu-like side effects.
The objective of starting this new therapy isn’t to “cure” my MS, unfortunately no drugs like that exist yet. Rather, several European studies have highlighted various benefits of IVIG therapy for MS patients, including a reduction in relapses and lesions while showing an improved or stable neurological state and overall quality of life.
Catch you on the flip side.