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Amevive Working AFTER 12 Week Course
from Dina S.

Hello again Ed.  I finished up my 12 week course of Amevive and it seems I was just a late bloomer!  After the last injection I had a great response.  I am going on 6 weeks without any shots, and I am almost clear.  The bottom of my legs are my stubborn spots, but they are clear enough for me to shave!  Finally!  My arms and back are virtually clear.  My scalp and ears, however, did not really clear much at all, but over all, I have to say that I am very, very pleased with the treatment results.

I have however, decided not to go back on the Amevive again unless I really have to.  The weekly shots and weekly blood tests took up a lot of time.  I am a full time nursing student and a mother of three active boys, and I found the time constraints very hard to deal with.  The blood work had to be done in the morning only, and my doctor’s office is only open till 4.  Unfortunately, I am usually in school during these hours, or working at the hospital.

Another bad experience was dealing with that lovely lower immune response.  Since I work at a hospital for school, I am constantly around infectious agents.  Normally, these would not bother the normal person, but because of the treatment, I ended up getting pretty sick with an intestinal infection that kept me out of service for about 2 weeks.  I am better now, and all healed up, but I think I will wait to try the Amevive again, when I am not working in such an infectious area of the hospital.

Right now, my derm has prescribed a home phototherapy unit and I am going to try to keep it somewhat under control with the lights at home as long as I can.

Wish me luck!  I will keep you updated on how long this remission lasts!  Thanks a bunch! -Dina S.

*****

Ed’s Response:  This is great news, Dina!  And an important lesson for anybody trying or planning to try Amevive — don’t be in a hurry! 

I’ll be interested to learn if second and successive ‘rounds’ of Amevive take as long to bring about remission.  But I understand you might not be my source of information in the short term!  Your second important lesson for us has to do with the susceptibility to opportunistic infections being on this drug (and other biologics) can bring about, and how important it is to avoid such infections.  Working in a hospital poses a danger, as you’ve experienced first hand.  But a dentist’s office, a neighborhood clinic, even a day care center can pose above normal risk. 

Beyond the childhood mantra of “wash your hands after...” many of us don’t know much about infections or how we get them or might prevent them.  We’ve all learned something from the induction of HIV to our culture, but we would all benefit by a little more knowledge — especially if treatment with a biologic is in our future. 

“Universal precautions” are mostly guidelines for healthcare workers and those who work in healthcare settings.  (You can probably recite them backwards, Dina!)  But they’re worth reviewing.  Here’s one web site worth perusing:

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/universa.html

Thanks for the report, Dina.  Please do keep us apprised of the remission.  I hope it lasts a long, long time!  -Ed

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