My first four pre-filled syringes of Avonex were shipped to me overnight, refrigerated in a small styrofoam cooler. Nurse Annette came to the house to show me how to inject myself.
It certainly is a small world. We actually recognized each other. She is the former wife of a photographer in town.
She explained the injection process to me, then had me practice on a piece of leather stretched onto a brick-sized object. I didn’t even hesitate when it came time to inject it into my thigh muscle. I was afraid that if I did, I would chicken out. The one-and-a-quarter-inch needle slipped right in, I gave myself 1/4 of a dose, counted for three seconds and pulled it out. It was pretty simple really.
Side effects were to happen in four to six hours and would last for twenty-four. Fever, muscle aches, chills, the shakes. With only 1/4 of a dose, maybe they would happen, maybe I would be lucky.
I was lucky... THIS time.
So what is Avonex anyway? Avonex is an interferon beta produced using genetically engineered Chinese Hamster ovary cells into which the human interferon beta gene has been introduced. Who in the world thought of using Hamster Ovaries? At any rate, this medication should slow down the progression of MS and reduce the number of exacerbations or nerve myelin attacks.
Thank the Little Critters!