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GIPA Gamma Interferon....This is an old posting from a member here &#...
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GIPA Gamma Interferon....This is an old posting from a member here 'nann'

Is anyone on Gamma Interferon? From my research, it is called Actimmune. It is made by a biotech company called Intermune. I start next week on that and continue also on pegasys. It is a total of four shots a week. I would really like to know what the side effects are. I work in magazine publishing and since I started all this treatment in April, 2002, I am hoping I can continue the pace. I started on peginterferon in April, 2002 and continued with once a week shots until October, 2003 when the viral load(which was 1,000) started to climb. Then I was switched to Pegasys immediately and the viral load still is climbing. Last week, the doctor said he is going to try to get insurance coverage for gamma interferon. I start next week. He said it will be delivered from Priority Pharmacy. I see him in a month. So, come April I will have been on hep c treatment continuously for 2 years. I have cirrhosis, hep c from blood transfusion in childbirth. I was on ribavirin for the first year but he stopped it because of anemia. He is a hep c "expert" and says ribavirin only helps in the first part of treatment. It also stays in your body for at least six months. Any information on this...would be greatly appreciated!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
I am on Gamma Interferon, Infergen and Riba triple combo.  The sides seem to be very similar to the regular interferon/Riba combo with maybe a little more ups and downs ie: the low points seem to be lower.  I am comparing this to my first round which was Pegasys/Riba.  In addition, with the first round I had some of the sides and didn't have others. With this treatment it seems that I have all of them.  Whenever I read here about a side somebody is having, I just nod and say to myself "uh huh, I can relate to that one."

Let me know if you want to talk more about this and we can either do it here or by email.

Best to you and all,
Steve
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so glad I found you and hoping the lady will show up today that is actually starting this.  Its not me as I'm on my fist round 4/48 but I was talking to her last week and she has been to busy to post but I was hoping she would check in later and maybe even get a response from the GIPA.  So we can hold tight here and Yes probably would be great if she could talk to you more about this whether here or email.  Thanks for responding!
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Avatar_n_tn
I remember Nan's post...it was lost in the middle of a thread a couple of days ago.  Even though this particular topic doesn't pertain to me, thank you for following through for her!  What a nice person you are!

Jamie
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Avatar_n_tn
I would be happy to help in any way I can.  I don't visit the forum as often as I used to but will check back with this thread over the next couple of days.

I hope your own treatment is going well.  May your sides be few and your successes numerous.

Best to you and all,
Steve
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Avatar_n_tn
You are a very special person. I don't know about the tx you mentioned but I hope you are doing well, you deserve it. You are very kind to be helping others, when you are going thru this. This forum has been a God send. It has showed me so much compassion from everyone here. I truely love each and everyone here. I continue to pray for all of my Hep C family. Much Love, Cindee
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Hey there honey, thanks for reposting my old post.  I just got back from an NYC trip this afternoon and was so surprised to see my mystery interferon in print again.  Anyhow, I am going to have to wait for two weeks to start.  I don't know a lot about this actimmune except it is, I believe, stronger than the pegasys. So I will be on standard pegasys and three shots of the new stuff.  I am planning to quit working to help myself out.  Thinking I can balance all of this was a mistake--and I realized it when I read carefully what I wrote Saturday. The real truth is I am struggling against fatigue all day and frankly I am worried. My 25-year old son will be returning from Iraq (hopefully) in May and I want to be in half-way decent shape by then. This virus has reshaped all of our lives from our choices of how we must live to what we put into our mouths. Stage 4 cirrhosis is like the elephant in the room with me constantly. The balancing act is difficult--but I had to reach a point of acceptance that this is the way it is.
     Southernboy, thanks for the imput.  I will not be on the ribavirin, at least to start.  How long have you been taking this gamma interferon?  I hope you BEAT THE DRAGON!
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Avatar_n_tn
With that attitude, I know you are on a winning streak! Last Round and over and done with!  I found myself complaining at times about tx and then getting tired of my own complaints haha I can't even imagine you going through this!  I guess Nann missed out on this posting but I have your name for her if I see her soon.  Thank you so much for your help and I will be praying for you as I know this is the last time!!
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Jamie,,,There ya are! Hey great to see ya!  Hope everything is going good for ya!
Chevy..Thanks for the post and so glad you are on the board as your comments daily are full of inspiration for all of us.  I like coming here for the health answers but I love the compassion also of the people as that is what gets me through day to day.  Lots of times..I could call my drs office for help/advice but its nice having you all out there going through same.

Almost done...Yes you are a great person.  You still come here and sprinkle your good cheer for all of us even though you are done!  I keep hoping to hear though...that you are feeling better because you have worked so long and hard for this.  I'm sorry you are going through so much with your daughter and pray that you will have some relief here to finish kicking the left over dragon OUT!!  Good Luck!
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;)   Cindee
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Hi there Chevy,

Thanks for the good thoughts.  During my first round I was a much more frequent visitor and posted more often.  I had allocated 2003 to be a tx year and this forum was a part of it.  I learned a great deal here, received a lot of support and hope I helped some also.  Now I am trying to make up for lost time.  Had planned on doing it "post tx", after I had cleared, but things don't always work out as planned.  Between tx, earning a living, catching up on things that didn't get done last year and trying to be a father and a husband, I have very little time left.  What time there is is usually spent resting or sleeping to get ready for the next day.

Waaaaaaa, sounds like a whine session and I guess maybe it is a little but I learned a long time ago that the guy at the table who complains about the cards he's dealt always ends up a looser.  No matter what happens I don't plan on going there.

Every day I tell myself "keep your head up and remember, it's a good world that has girls in it."

Best to you and to all,
Steve
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Avatar_n_tn
I was glad to hear that you are going to be able to stay home for this next round as that will definitely take alot of stress away that you don't need at this point.  I'm sorry to hear that you are so tired and yes with your son coming in..I would be same way and wanting that break just to enjoy visiting with him.  The best to you! Please keep us posted on your new treatment when you get started.
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Hi Nann,

Hmmmmm......I would like to discuss this with you more.  The Gamma interferon is not stronger then the interferon alfas, it is just a different type emitted by a different T-cell.  By itself, Gamma interferon has very weak antiviral properties.  It is approved by the FDA (Actimmune) for treatment of fibrotic lung diseases because of its antifibrotic properties.  The theory in its use for treatment of HCV is that if the fibrosis in the liver can be reduced, then the interferon alfas can be more effective.  In addition, just reducing the fibrosis itself is a good thing.  Unfortunately, study results recently released did not meet the targets set to continue this research.  <A HREF="http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hep_c/news/012304__b.html">Actimmune Study</A>.  This was just the first step in this line of research and it is still ongoing.  In addition, Gamma interferon has been shown to have some synergistic antiviral effects when used with the interferon alfas ie: it seems to enhance the antiviral properties of both.

I still do not understand why they would use this combination without the Riba.  The interferons help stimulate the immune system to destroy the virus while the Riba interferes with the ability of the virus to replicate by by causing it to "super mutate" into a nonviable form.  This combination has been shown to be most effective in tx.  Except for completely new classes of drugs, most new treatments are focusing on more effective, or less harmful, types of interferon and Riba or other drugs that are more effective in doing the same thing.

Sorry about the longwinded explanation.  The above just skims the surface and is pretty simplistic, but I think gets the point across.

Lets talk some more about this.

Best of luck to you,
Steve
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Thanks Steve for your information.  Yes, I saw about the study that showed gamma did not reverse fibrosis. I would be utterly overjoyed if it and the pegasys just got me over the hump to eradicating the virus. I have had this 1b virus for 28 years. The riba might become a part of the program--but I think my doc wants to take it slow to give me a chance for a better quality of life. Your previous posts here indicate you are keeping up with your life very well.  That's an inspiration, believe me.  I never wanted this illness to be what I am about--I have tried to make it just a part of my life.  You seem to be doing that.
Good for you.
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