Easing the discomfort of interferon - a patient's
Here are some things that I found really helped. Most people
take INF before bed. I too found this to be the best time.
1) Eat as large a meal as possible b4 taking the shot. A full
tummy helps quite a bit. Others I know have found the same.
2) The most common symptom for me was an extremely restless
sleep. If I ate lots this helped but even with a large meal prior
to the INF I still had problems sleeping. When this occurred I
would take Neo Citran and have a hot bath. This seemed to work.
3) Take a tylenol b4 the shot and one in the morning.
4) Sleep with a large pitcher of ice water at the bedside. This
helps a great deal.
5) Start out with a low dose on the first day or two. For
instance if you are to be on 3 million units I would start with 1
mill, then 2 mill and then 3. The reason is that I thought I was
going to die from the Interferon on the first night. The chills and
shaking were severe.
6) Bundle up well for the first couple of nights. I would
recommend long underwear and a sweatsuit over top. Many people
initially get severe chills.
7) Be wary of infections. They are not unusual for people on
8) Anitdepressants. I asked a psychologist about Interferon and
depression. The person in question is an expert in treating
patients that are ill or undergoing drug therapy with severe side
effects. He told me that he did not believe that Interferon caused
clinical depression. He said that clinical depression is a
biochemical brain condition and that there was no proof whatsoever
that Interferon caused it. What he point out is that Interferon
caused symptoms that were very similar to depression and that in
patients with no previous history of depression that
antidepressants had no more effect than placebos. I had debated an
antidepressant but decided against it. If you remind yourself that
it is Interferon that is making you feel bad and not "true"
depression it makes it a l;ot easier to deal with. Be careful with
antidepressants. There is mounting evidence that SSRIs may well
cause permanent biochemical changes.
9) The fat around the stomach area is the best area for
injection. It is painless and never leaves bruising or
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