I went through 8 months of Peg-Intron treatment for hepatitis C. I did achieve a SVR, but I am still having many medical and neurological problems. My treatment was during this time, 2002-2003.
I now have short term memory loss and brain fog. My coordination and balance are affected. My eyesite is very bad also. My insomnia has became severe and difficult to treat. I also have depressive/anxiety disorder and now ADHD. I now have mild generalized edema and my doctors don't know why. I have become agoraphic and have panic attacks. I can't find the correct word and my spelling is awful. I leave words out or I put them into my writing
twice. I was NOT like that before beginning the Peg-Intron tx.
During the last month of treatment, I could tell my cognitive skills were declining rapidly. I stopped the treatment at 8 months. I am a 55 year old married woman.
One doctor told me it was chemotherapy and then said it wasn't.
Are the symptoms that I have consistent with "chemo brain"?
Interferons are naturally occurring proteins produced by the immune system. These drugs are used to treat some cancers, multiple sclerosis, as well as viral infections like hepatitis B and C.
In the oncology setting we use the Interferon group of drugs mainly to treat kidney cancer, leukemias, and melanomas. I have not personally noted the neurological symptoms mentioned by you in the few long-term survivors I know. Interferons are commonly associated with acute toxicity, bodyache, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea, anorexia, fatigue, dizziness, depression, etc.
I would hesitate to label your current symptoms to interferons that you received about seven years ago.
Also, I would like to mention that although interferons are used in cancer therapy, they are not strictly considered "chemotherapy". The word chemotherapy is usually reserved for cytotoxic chemical agents.
Please consult a neurologist and undergo a thorough evaluation for your symptoms.
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