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Avatar universal

Post Treatment side effects

I am nearing the end of my 24 week treatment with pegasus and copegus.  I have experienced a variety of side effects from treatment and would like to know what physical/mental side effects I can expect post-treatment?

Thank you very much.
27 Responses
Avatar universal
You should start to feel better.  According to others, it takes a while to start feeling like your old self.  You'll have good days and some bad, but soon you will have all good days.

It is a big change not having to do meds.  You will probably work through a lot, metally.  Life is precious...you will re-evaluate your life and decided who you are, who you want to be, and what really matters in life.

Each day is an adventure; live it to the fullest!

Be kind to others and invest yourself in others.  Live your life like you always dreamed of living it. DO EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE EVER DREAMED ABOUT DOING.  Life is meant to be lived!!!

....and, (Never forget what you have been through.)


Avatar universal
I took the PegIntron/Riba treatment for 48 wks.  My last shot was June 20 and I continued the Riba for another week.  I started feeling better by the end of that first week.  It just seemed like I felt better every day for that first month post treatment.  The brain fog lifts slowly and gradually.  People tell me I looked so much healthier after treatment.

However, I tried to jump off the ADs too quickly.  I am back on Paxil.  I feel like I'm getting my sense of humor back and starting to take things a little more lightly.  It's like I'm more comfortable.  

The "tingling" sensations I experienced on treatment didn't go away until October or November.  I still have some Nausea and I get chills from time to time.  Sometimes when I feel chilled or achy I wonder if my body is fighting a virus and I'm just having to re-adjust to my immune system.

I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Hi, just like going through treatment, post TX sides seem to be different for everyone. I think a lot of it depends on the condition of your blood (anemia) and such.
For me the post five & and a half month mark was a time of remarkable change for the better. I am now going on six & a half months post & feeling great. I never thought I would get back to normal with my appearance, never thought the dried up eyes, hair & complexion would come back. Well it did, at a party recently a women my husband works with even insinuated to me that she thought I had had cosmetic surgery on my face. At first I was taken aback by her comment but later decided not to be annoyed because that
Avatar universal

well it is week 45 of pegontron and rebe...what a year..but it seems i am starting to experience some sides from awhile ago...hair is starting to fall out again (stopped falling out about week 30) itching again, (mostly arms) and tired...whooa, but the leg pain has just kept up the whole time...as for mental...seems the depression is staying at bay...and anger is not so common(must be the lorazepam)...but OHC...those old forgotten memories of anguish...the ones that were and are so painful...man the oldest sh*t comes to mind....what a trip that this tx unlocks these ancient files and replays them for you....soon oh so soon...this will be done. soon it will be christmas day.
Avatar universal
Hang in there, bro. It won't be long now, 3 more weeks woohoo! I'm right behind you, 8 more to go, I am ready!
Avatar universal
Oh those unlocked files---- I have been off TX over six months but remember when the treatments toxic fumes filtered through my head & opened the ancient tombs in my brain. For me they were
Avatar universal
those ancient memories that are painful..... yes     do others experience that on tx???    i thought it was maybe because  i couldnt take very much antidepressants.    i sure dealt with a lot of that.   ive tried to replace the thoughts with good thoughts when that happens now.  its much better off tx...
   this whole disease and its treatment takes its toll on the self confidence.  yet i believe our confidence should be in Christ Jesus.  even the scriptures say "think on those things pure and good..."
Avatar universal
It depends on how sick you were before dx, how you viewed tx-a curse, a burden or a God given chance at life, disease free life.

I was so thankful for the dx, so grateful for the tx and so humbled by the miracle of emerging disease free @3wks after 24yrs, nothing really bothered me.

Since I already had died in icu, I'm not a good example of the trails and tribulations of de-tx or post-tx.  Just remember that you are now de-toxing from the meds.  So just treat this like another stage in recovery.

Your body will adjust, altho you can help it by keeping up your water, rest and add more exercise, and you will want to.  Hair and nails are on 6mo scheduals and skin response fast to good care.

I'm also proud of my cure, b/c I stayed the course.  I tell everyone I want to.  Cancer patients aren't afraid to blow their horns.  Maybe b/c my infection was by transfusion, I'm not afraid to toot my own horn.  I think it can give others hope.
Avatar universal
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featuring fellow hep c activists...D. Wong Rieger and Andy Aitkens from the canadian hep c network

Avatar universal
hubby post tx 4 weeks.  he is feeling as bad as after the injections...like the second day type bad, low energy, lethargic, nauseous.  will he be feeling better soon?  he is a non-responder, so he has to deal with that too.  should he call the doc?  maybe he needs to have some more of that procrit or neupogen.  one week after tx his cbc #s were okay, but he is definitely not okay.
Avatar universal
I didn't finish my treatment yet, I'm week 46 and for me the worse part of the treatment was depression and anxiety. I can cope with the pain and other sx...
I wonder if I'll be ok after treatment, now I lost my confidence and crying and crying...
I feel like everything around me is something I'll never see again and this is paintful.
Do you think that only AD could help? I think I need a positive approach and I can't find it.
I know you've helped me a lot lately, where is my life?
Avatar universal
Man, did I have those "memories" of past trauma, etc. while on tx.  It was outrageous.  Sometimes I thought I truly would loose it.  But I went on meds for it and it got more bearable, but the fog took months to lift after tx.  I still can't remember blocks of time or events while on tx.  My hair has come back a lot since I went off tx in April of this year.  I'm sort of the person I was before, but things won't ever be the same.  It's hard to describe specifics.  I just had to take care of my mother, who is 85, after she had surgery.  We had never gotten along since I was 3 yrs. old, believe it or not.  So, when I was called on to do this 2 week, 24 hr. a day care giving for her, there was so much resentment. She never could take care of me when I was a child or any other time. As it turned out, I used the things I learned on tx and got through it a lot better than I had ever expected.  So, I must be better now than I was before and during tx! I could have NEVER done this before.  God works in strange ways. Take care all of you and stay on tx if you are on it now, and know that whether you are pre-tx, on tx, or post-tx, you are not alone here.  We've all been there.  **Hopiangel**
Avatar universal
I can relate to the depression and the crying.  I'm off the treatment now for 6 months.  My confidence is coming back and I'm getting a sense of humor again.  I haven't cried for two or three days now.  I know where you are because I was there too.  I was totally hopeless and totally without confidence.  My life circumstances haven't changed that much in the last two years but my confidence sure has.  I was comfortable with myself and my circumstances before treatment.  During treatment everything was terrible and I was hopeless and things would not get better.  After treatment things are starting to look better again.  It's incredible how much the treatment stresses the body and causes the glass that used to be half full to become half empty.  Just remember in two weeks, everyday will be a little better than the day before.

Good Luck and I will pray for you.
Avatar universal
I finished treatment just over a year ago and I feel fantastic about it.  I cannot believe that I had an illness that dragged me to the depths of despair, that I thought would prevent me from seeing my children grow up.   Well now I don't have it anymore, and it does take a bit of adjusting to.  Don't expect to feel great immediately, it does take a few months but I am fitter and certainly feel better than most of my 46 year old counterparts!  All my friends complain about lack of energy, the menopause, wrinkles, drinking too much etc. etc.  After what ive been through (48 weeks of the stuff), there dosn't seem much worth complaining about now!
Avatar universal
Thanks very much for your wisdom on post-treatment side effects and how long they will linger.  This helps me a lot.

To AmIDoneYet?  I suffer from Depression and have had to up my doses of AD two-fold during treatment.  In addition, because I was feeling so irritable, impatient, and short-tempered, I was able to get what I call "nice pills" from my psyschiatrit.  These are anti-anxiety drugs that work like Zanax but without the addictive quality.  These have really helped me increase my patience with folks who love and support me.  And I am so greatful for this.  The name of the drug is Neurontiin.
Good luck.
Avatar universal
Please don't let anyone tell you that a positive attitude or anything else can always beat the depression that comes with tx.  Interferon is known (the package warnings say it also) to cause chemically induced depression.  I never suffered depression in my life yet, had to take an AD on tx.  I am 10 weeks post-tx and have been off the AD for the past 6.  If you need help, please get it.  TX is tough enough!
Avatar universal
I know all of us have our own opinions, But I for one, Believe strongly that taking a Pill is not always the answer-Your Body is being bombarded with Unknown Chemicals enough as it is. We , all have different levels of depression to cope with, there are other alternatives-Like Exercise-Getting out and Walking-Breathing Fresh Air-Listening to your favorite Music-Most of all do something for Yourself. If that does not work, then by all means, something is definitely wrong, and you should seek Counceling. Not all People On TX are on AD's. We are all very Different. Just remember you are almost to the finish line, and if you think Ad's are the answer, then Please talk to your Doctor ASAP, and let your Doctor help you make the right decesion. Let us know how things work out, I will keep you in my prayers.
Avatar universal
One of the documented and serious side effects of interferon is depression.  Not everyone gets it; and if you don't and have never had depression, it is easy to pass it off.  But it can be a very serious,debilitating, dangerous, physically induced effect of the chemicals and your brain and nervous system.  You can't will it away.  Right diet and exercise may relieve some depression, but they are not always enough.  
You have 2 more weekly cycles of tx.  When your 49th "shot day" comes and you no longer take a shot - that is when the chemicals will start to be worked out of your system.  The complete clean-out of interferon will be gradual, but most of it should be gone in 1-2 weeks.  I believe you'll feel less and less dark as each day goes along.  For now, remember:
IT IS THE MEDICINE.  It can play havoc with your perceptions and judgement.  I was certainly warned not to make any very important decisions, or take any life-changing actions while on tx.  
Just get through one day at a time, Dheanna, and please tell your doctor how you are feeling.  Let the doc give you some  medicine; it's not all addictive.  Really!  and you'll be done with meds at Christmas, so you can look forward to that freedom now.  
Maj Neni
Avatar universal
I agree that depression is a documented side effect, but if you read the side effect statistics on the drug companies web sites the incidence of depression is less than 30%.  Yet on this board  the vast majority of people go on AD's.  I know I may sound contraversial but dont you think some of you are confusing feeling a bit down with clinical depression?  Or are your doctors in the US, so wrapped up in the lawsuit culture that they stick all the patients on them to keep them quiet?
Avatar universal
I finished Thanksgiving and I feel much better. I didn't cry but instead it affected me by making me mad at everybody and everything. That is much better already. I've noticed myself smiling a few times. The last three weeks I told myself every day  that since I had this day started I was going to finish it, but tomorrow I was definately going to quit. RBC low at the end but that's much better too. Not short of breath,cold,and legs don't feel like they weigh 100 pounds. My stomach felt better within DAYS of stopping pills. Except for low WBC I think I handled the interferon OK but the pills made me feel bad.
Kennedge-hang on you WILL get there.
Avatar universal
You bring up a good point about the incidence of side effects.  I just can't understand how anyone can go through this treatment and not experience some type of side effect.  I have heard stories of people who have experienced no side effects.  The thing that amazes me is seeing a statistic like 30% of people experience flu-like symptoms.  While taking the treatment, I tried to minimize the Tylenol and Advil because of the liver toxicity.  I don't understand how anyone who doesn't take Tylenol or Advil would not feel bad after the shot.  The Tylenol and Advil definitely minimized those side effects but if I didn't take them, I experienced flu-like symptoms every time.  Even with the Tylenol and Advil, the brain fog was there.
Avatar universal
i am 6 months post tx and over the last couple of weeks I have really bounced back. i feel great. lots of energy,clear headed and the dep. seems to be gone. Yea it takes awhile but it gets so much better. my hair is growing back and doesn't stick straight up anymore. I am actually having to cut my nails ever couple of weeks instead of evry two months. Ilook back on tx now and it seems just like a bad dream that i had along time ago. Now the nightmare of tx is gone and evrything is allright.........THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avatar universal
I think you need to look at your past life and truly decide if you suffered depression before tx. A lot of people don't recognize depression because they have had it for so long, it feels normal. I don't know a web-site that discusses symptoms, but I think it would be worth  your time to find one. I for 1 suffered depression and PSTD until I was 35( 46 now) w/ no idea. If you are prone to depression, get help. You won't believe the difference it can make in your life.   My best to you,   Joni
Avatar universal
Sit back, pat yourself on the back for coming this far, few have, and smoke a joint.  Have a cup of herb tea and a piece of good chocolate (I prefer 85% cocoa content) and let the world drift away.
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