My brother woke up this morning with a fever of 101.5. We are worried about the swine flu while he is on this maintenance using Pegylated interferon injections combined with Ribavirin tablets. He always feels nauseous. What do we need to do? Just worried and want to be little more proactive.
I looked at your profile and your other question dated May 2, when your brother began his treatment. You asked the question at the end of another thread and never got an answer. It is almost 3 months later and you are asking about fever .
Is this new or has he had continuous fever? I think he needs to go to the doctor.
You said he (or you?) needs to be more proactive Yes, you are right. He is by my count going on week 12. A lot of blood counts can crash by that time. The ones you need to pay close attention to are the hemoglobin (HGB) which indicates the amount of the oxygen in the blood and the absolutel neutrofils (ANC or #NE) which indicates the percent neutophils (infection fighting white blood cells) are in the white blood cell count. If his ANC has gone down, he can be open to infection. Fevers indicate infection so it is best to not second guess this and get to the doctor.
Meanwhile, request copies of all reports -- the PCR's -- viral load counts, and CBCs -- the blood tests that will tell you the ANC and HGB.
In addition (boy am I long winded today) he is coming on a critial viral load test at week 12 -- usualy the 6th or 7th day after the 12th shot). You need to make sure the test that is ordered is a very sensitive test. It depends on the lab the doctor used, but if he uses QUest , request the Heptimax which is sensitive to 5 IU/mL. In he uses LabCorp, request the Quanta Sure (that is the exact name - no more) which is sensitive to 2 IU/mL.
If he has not had a recent CBC - most doctors give orders for CBCs about every 2 weeks in the beginning of treatment to so they can watch these blood counts -- get him one, ASAP.
By the way I always took two tyenol with my shots at night and I did very well fighting off the fever. Of course if he is having fevers all of the time and not just on shot night or after shot night he should see a doctor because we all always think everything is treatment related but sometimes it is just not.
By the way ribavirin is an antiviral and it should be almost impossible for him to get swine flu or any other flu while he's on a medication that kills virus (flu) germs. I didn't have a flu or anything all 72 weeks (and even after) while on treatment while my family did.
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