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1717054 tn?1316716253

I have a QUANDARY...plz advise if you can

I am in a quandary and I need some good advice from all  you expert people. :)
I have had a fever now for 13 days, ranging from 100 to 102. I wake up in the morning w/o fever but like clockwork, come 10:30, 11:00, I start feeling the same old fever stirrings.  Usally starts with a few chills.
I went to the Dr on Monday ( not my gastro) and he swears I have the Flu because of my other symptoms as well.  I have had a real dry cough, but that. at least HAS gotten better, overall.  I have fatigue, mild headaches, no appetite and mild body aches at times. He took a flu swab of my nose and it came back negative.  He checked for pneumonia and it came back negative.  He still thinks it is the Flu, and he is aware of my hep C and what interferon can do to  you, which is his explanation on why this is not definitive. So, I have been on antibotics for one week ( prescribed originally from my Gastro) and he put me on TamiFlu, just because he said it can't hurt. ( I wasn't real craxy about that, expecially when my copay was $70. :(

My quandary is this.....he wanted to see me again in 2 days.  Today is day 3 and fever is back to 101. The only thing I can tell him is that the cough is a little better.  We just lost our health insurance on Jan 31st so everything will be self pay and my husband has not been working now for 4 months. It's not very pretty here now, financially.
Am I going to waste my time and money to go back to him as he "guesses"  his way through this?   Obviously if something is really wrong, I want to know about it. ON the other hand, this could be side effects, even though I have never  had this type of SX before.  I just finished pills on Tues and  my last shot was on Jan 18.

Anyone have this experience with a constant fever and just rode it out or eventually figured out what was going on?

Thanks, Dear Forum friends.....
29 Responses
179856 tn?1333550962
Deb I dont think you need to take tamiflu if you are on ribavirin both are antivirals.  I 'think' that getting the flu while on treatment is pretty difficult because you are on the antiv.  And obviouisly, even the flu - the real dread nasty flu usually last about a week or so (I cant stand when people come in to work after 2 days and say they had the flu...uh just no)...so yours seems to my way of thinking to be lasting too long.

did you at least talk to the GI?

I wish I had an answer for you but that is my best guess scenario (which isn't all that great as it is but I wanted to try and help you somehow.....even if just in words and in thought).

I just dont understand why you would get this after finishing tx and not before...I'd call the GI and ask it can't hurt?

1990530 tn?1333482443
It took me a couple of months for my symptoms from treatment to go away the last time 6yrs ago. Try not to take too many meds for side affects as it can affect the final out come. I relapsed after 6 months. Drink lots of water, and start with a slow excersises till your energy comes back, the cough can hang around for a while, Your fever is not high enough to really worry about, 103 104 or higher would be more of a concern long term. Remember that fever is a good thing its your body killing the virus. I felt fabulous after about 3 or 4 months, thats just me, I was sure I beat it last time. Guess not, as I started the new treatment 3 weeks ago. I'll beat it this time for sure.
Hang in there Debbie your almost done!!

1815939 tn?1377995399
I am very sorry to hear you are not feeling well and also sorry that you have lost your insurance. That complicates things.

My opinion is that running a fever for 13 days is not normal. 99F would not concern me too much, but 102F does. I think you need to follow-up on it.

I think it would be wise to call your MD and let him/her know how you are doing medically. I also think you need to let him know about your financial predicament as well as the fact that you have no health insurance. Let him/her know that money is a big concern. At that time you can also talk with him about return visits and follow-up.

I don't really have any answers except that I would not just let this go by and risk a serious illness. I would follow-up on it.
1717054 tn?1316716253
@ NY Girl...I never even thought of that, about the Riba being an antiviral.  Brain fog I guess.  Great point!!  The Dr did say that not all flu's will knock you out.  It really depends on what is circulating in any given year cuz I asked him the same thing.
I originally called my Gastro Dr last week, first, and she is the one that put me on antibiotics.  A few days later I txt her that I suspected that I had mild pneumonia ( really thought thats what it was ).  She told me to do to the Dr and  have them treat me from there, so that is what I did.  I never got back to her about it.  She never told me to.
So, you wouldn't go back to the Dr who said I had the flu?  From what you just said, it might not make any sense.  Hmmmm

I started with all this before I stopped treatment, almost 2 weeks before.  
Could just be lingering?

Yes, I will contact my Gastro and let her know what the other Dr did/said. (sorry, I'm rambling)

@ grandma....The thing is that I never had these symptoms at all,  until the last 2 weeks.  I only want to get to the cause of this fever.  If it's SX, then fine.  I can live with that.  
Thanks for your input!
In my mind.... I AM DONE.  Just have to wait 6 months now to make it official. Yippee!
148588 tn?1465782409
What were your last white cell counts and did they check for any type of bacterial infection besides pneumonia?
Avatar universal
I'm with your doctor - the flu.
13 days is a long time but not that uncommon with the flu.
I doubt the doctor can help you much at this stage. You just have to ride it out and my guess is it won't be more than a couple of days.
Just my opinion which isn't worth much - if anything.

Good luck,
1717054 tn?1316716253
@ desrt.... On monday the clinic I went to took my blood. The white blood count was 4.7 K/ul
They did not tell me that they checked for anything else.  

@ pooh...mainly it is a slow climb once it starts.  It goes from 100 to about 101.4 , if i let it get that far before taking fever reducer.
1717054 tn?1316716253
@mike....do you not agree that when we are on Ribavirin it would prevent us getting the flu, generally speaking, of course?
163305 tn?1333672171
13 days is a long time to have a fever.
Fever's can be a sign of infection.
I'd email my hepatologist or call his office.
Okay, you aren't me. Call your GI.

When speaking with the nurse at my liver clinic in the past, she made it sound like a flu is indeed possible while doing tx.
The main concern they have is with infection.
She told me one of her patients she thought had the flu landed up in the ER and it was a pancreatic infection.She said she's given up guessing about the flu with hep C tx, patients, and she's a hepatic nurse!

I'm not trying to scare you but 13 days is a long time.
Infection can be serious. Your doc didn't even think of an infection and doesn't really know about hcv tx.
Get help from a real professional.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
1652596 tn?1342015226
deb, last december i got the flu 3 days after xmas.  it hit me hard for 1 day.  it's the first time i've had the flu in @ 7 years.  i'm on riba and interferon.  i hope you find out what's causing the fevers.  i'd be concerned.  good luck.  belle
1815939 tn?1377995399
I agree with orhanedhawk. fevers are not normal. There may be an underlying infection some place, which is what i was trying to say in my first post but I don't think that was clear.

My guess is that the fever goes down when you take the meds to lower it. That is why it is not always real high and then it works its way back up as time passes.

Anyway, I do think you need to have this checked out and they need to be looking for a possible infection.

I hope things turn out well for you and that this is not serious.

1765684 tn?1333822768
I was told that the treatment drugs are "targeted" antivirals and they will do nothing to keep you from getting a cold or flu.  Lowered WBC will leave you more likely to get an infection (or ANC or whatever).

I was also told that if I planned to take ANY antiviral drugs in addition to the treatment drugs, I had to call and clear them first.

You could have any number of different kinds of infections.  Best to see the dr. again.
1491755 tn?1333204962
Sorry to hear this, wishing you well!
Avatar universal
You should go to your community health center, charges are  based on your income.
Avatar universal
That's a good question. There is evidence that ribavirin has some anti-influenza activity - with the Avian Flu, for example. The question is how prophylactic is it? Does in immunize one against the flu? I would guess that it doesn't because if it did I would think it would be prescribed for that use or at least approved for that use. There are some people who believe that the FDA made a mistake - either intentionally or negligently - by not approving ribavirin for use with influenza. I cannot comment on that but that opinion is out there. I have also read that in other countries they use ribavirin for influenza and according to some articles it mitigates the symptoms and shortens the duration of the symptoms/disease. That certainly doesn't appear to be the case with you since you're on day 14.
I tend to agree with your doctor because your symptoms match up perfectly with flu symptoms and I cannot think of any other disease/disorder that matches up as well.
Anyway, I really hope it resolves soon. You have enough on your plate with treatment. You sure don't need anything else.
Good luck,
179856 tn?1333550962
I was told that the treatment drugs are "targeted" antivirals and they will do nothing to keep you from getting a cold or flu."

I just dont know about that every year I get bronchitis from a cold or flu or I get pneumonia or some such illness, the entire time I was on tx 72 weeks and for months afterwards I didn't even get a cold.

Maybe because my immune system was hopped up on interferon or maybe a combo of them both but whatever it was.......I wish I had some of it now!
1765684 tn?1333822768
I never, ever get colds and I had two from the last week of October to xmas.  It was not fun...  

I had an appt at the hospital just before I got that cold in October.  I felt it coming on and asked specifically - won't these drugs keep my from getting a cold?  They are antivirals, afterall.

I was told no.  

There has been some research I've read about intranasal use of interferon and the common cold but I couldn't find anything about injected interferon.
1990530 tn?1333482443
Not that this will help the original question on this posting but where I live, the Dr sent me for flu shots and a pneumonia vaccine before I started tx. This is standard for all who go on tx up here.

Did you get vaccinated? Do they do that elsewhere?  If not, Why not?
Avatar universal
I 'm In Alabama and that was one of the first questions they ask I have had both vaccines. I lost my sister to HepC in1995 she started her cycle and bleed to death. I was so concerned about having the same thing happening to me after I had an episode I had a hysterectomy. I have spent several years preparing for the day there was a cure. I hope everything that I have done helps but who knows at least it made me feel like I was doing something to beat this monster. Best of luck to all we can all beat this we just have to stay strong and rely on one another. I am women hear me roar and be there for each other when we are mice.
148588 tn?1465782409
I was about 3 hours east of you in Alpine, Tx. at my GP's office this morning. Waiting room full of sick people, two confirmed cases of viral influenza just while I was there. Doc says none of the strains showing up were covered by this year's vaccine. Looks like W. Tx. flu seaon is hitting late.
148588 tn?1465782409
The riba they use in Mexico is administered directly to the lungs by inhaler. I know if oral riba would even have the limited success this seems to have on existing infecton. The only studies I've seen in this country were on cases in children.
148588 tn?1465782409
Should have read " I don't know if...".
Avatar universal
Yes, I agree with you. I think if it was really effective - in any form - against influenza we'd have heard about it by now. But, then again, maybe not.
They've also tried interferon against influenza and I read somewhere that it's effectiveness inversely related to dosage - the lower doses were more effective.........if I am remembering right.......but, that does sound weird.
It really doesn't matter because at any dose interferon wasn't very effective.
1542388 tn?1293855413
These are great comments. I too agree that 2 weeks fever is a really long time. Do you have any other sx? Did your doc do any other tests? CXR, other labs? Do you have any abdominal pain, chest pain, night sweats, sob, any weight loss? Is your cough dry or productive? How high has the fever gotten without analgesics? Have you completed HCV therapy?
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