Hepatitis C Community
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1560663 tn?1298050127

Starting Interferon Friday First Injection

My first injection is this Friday..... I'm terribly afraid of the side effects. I also suffer from so much joint pain any words of incouragement would greatly appreciated. I would like to have one glass of wine this evening to take the edge off, any problem with that.
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Suck it up.  Don't be afraid of the IDEA of side effects.  There are hundreds and hundreds of stories here about the sides, and they generally fit nicely under the bell-shaped curve.  Most people deal with them fine; they're more annoying than debilitating.  

You'll make it.  
179856 tn?1333550962

Please try to post all your first "I'm scared" posts under one thread that way we can answer you easily without being too verbose and posting the same stuff over and over.

I admit I agree to the "suck it up" theory but I wouldn't have posted it quite that way. I was diagnosed (dx'd) and found out I was stage 3. I never had a sign or symptom.
BUT I had watched people die of this disease, miserably.

That gave me the incentive to be the most pro-active crazed aggressive treater you can find (well on here you can find others but not in the real world I dont think).

You do 'gotta suck it up' we have ALL been through this. But we wanted to live so we did it. End of story.

You do not have advanced cancer, you are not going to be doing real chemo. This is child's play compared to that in most all cases.

So.............stop worrying, take the shot. You will be surprised when nothing happens.

BTW take two tylenol with the shot that will offset any fever or flu sides yo9u hear about.

It aint that bad. It could be MUCH worse.
1491755 tn?1333204962
I never heard anyone say it was worse than what they thought.  Just take it as it comes, sx are up and down.  I had episodes of my worse sx, but there were a lot of times when it wasn't to bad.  It's drug warning labels they have to cover themselves.  

Drink a lot of water get hydrated now, at least a gallon and a half a day everyday.

Good luck !
1491755 tn?1333204962
Do not drink with liver disease !  And NEVER drink on meds.
Avatar universal
For most the worry is worst then the sides, what good is a glass of wine now? That edge will be there friday too..........Good luck

James10500.......... I'm curious as to where you came up with at least a gallon and a half of water a day? Thats 192 ounces.......not counting what you get in other things. My doctor told me to drink when i was thristy and stay hydrated but not over do it.......... Hope all is well.

1420486 tn?1384796753
     I understand your fear of the side effects, we probally all had that. I agree with what everyone has told you in the fact that some have them and some have them worse than other's... If this helps you any, I am in week 16 and I have no complaints of flu type symptons, no nausia, none of it. I did have a few days on bone pain, but that went away, I only took alieve 3 times for the pain. So for me tx has been a piece of cake thus far.  So heres to you! May your journey be as easy as mine...
     Also on the wine??? I am surprised none of your doctors have not told you not to drink. Some have drinks to celebrate the end of tx..I have heard the liver heals its self sometimes. But i think that too takes time. So I think for most, who tx @ a higher stage they should wait...As for me im stage 0 and was und @ wk 12. I suspose if I cared to I could have a drink when im done with Tx..Good luck to you..Gin
1491755 tn?1333204962
96 ounces.  Or 1 8 Oz class every  hour for 12 hours.  But every formula I've seen depends on weight so a blanket statement like I made isn't correct.  I just couldn't get enough.
1431734 tn?1421015271
if u are fearful of side effects you are like most of us before beginning treatment. the unknown is frightening to everyone. knowledge is power. read the posts of any of us starting at our first day or before and u will see a pattern. each of us responds differently to tx. no one gets all the sx. usually the sx come and go and the same one may repeat. most folks get thru and even many are able to work full time.  i think staying busy distracts u from sx but not so busy that u cannot rest and take care of yourself. i encourage u to stay informed so that u can manage the sx better. there is alot of good info right here. good luck, babs
1560663 tn?1298050127
Thanks everyone...I decided not to have the wine.  My hepc is very advanced, since 1988, it causes great pain in my joints and muscles. I am on morphine & oxycodone for that.  I didn't know I had it until 2002.  Some of you are so brutally honest, I'm scared... I have 8 animals to attend to during my treatment and sucking it up wasn't quite what I was expecting to hear. I am in terrible pain, sometimes unable to get out of bed, I have 3rd stage kidney failure and my liver is progressively getting worse.  I'll try and suck it up though. Thank you.
1431734 tn?1421015271
i wonder if you are ready for tx since you have other medical issues that require you to take oxy and morphine, which can of course compromise liver. please be certain that u are followed by a hepatologist during tx. glad u vetoed wine. good luck, babs
419309 tn?1326506891
I believe everyone feels some degree of anxiety before starting treatment, but for many the anticipation is worse than the event.  Not knowing what's ahead can really mess with your head, but try to take it a day at a time.  Some people go through treatment with little complication, so I hope that is the case for you.  

Hep c can damage both the liver as well as compromise the kidneys; perhaps clearing the hep c with treatment can help your liver as well as your kidneys.  You seem to have other serious conditions, and in that case, it would be most important that your treatment doctor be an experienced hepatologist, once experienced with treating hep c (and your treatment doctor should be communicating regularly with your nephrologist).  You did not mention the condition of your liver, but with active hep c, it's best to abstain from alcohol completely, especially while on treatment.  A belated welcome to the forum, and hopefully that helps.  This forum can be a wonderful resource (if sometimes brutally honest, yes), and hopefully we can help you through the challenges of treatment.  Best wishes. ~eureka
1560663 tn?1298050127
If I just post a general comment to everyone, do I leave the TO box blank?
My GI is treating Hep C, he is very well versed on the subject.  He would tell me not to have any wine, which I have not, on the other hand my PCP thinks an ocassional glass is no more harmful than taking my pain meds.  I agree with both Doctors, but since I don't normally drink unless it's a special occasion, why risk it.  My GI has been great and successfully seen me through a couple of issues thus far.  He did a couple of internal procedures to make sure I could handle the treatment.  I saw a Psychiatrist, Opthamologist and took a class.  I'm pretty sure I'm ready.  Today I was supposed to start but there was a paperwork mishap so meds wont arrive til tomorrow.  Basically my liver has the normal problems with someone with HepC, but nothing too serious considering the length of time I have been infected. I'll try and keep posting my progress.  Thanks all.
ps....I pray I dont lose my hair, its past my waist and in great shape, all things considered, I'd rather be well than vain.
179856 tn?1333550962

We were ALL pretty vain about our hair, even the guys.  dont worry it wont all fall out and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and hardly any will!

You are right it's not the most important thing here.......even though it does sound dreadful.
Avatar universal
I don't think you'll have too many problems in the pain arena anyway.  Looks like you're taking enough narcotics to dull just about anything.  Maybe your GI thinks that the narcotics are not harmful but did he ever discuss the word "addiction"?  If you try to stop using them abruptly the phrase " no more harmful than taking my pain meds" will take on a whole new meaning.

Good luck,
1560663 tn?1298050127
unfortunately I didn't have much choice with pain meds.  My blood pressure was so high from my pain that it was a last resort.  No other pain meds would work we tried them all.  Once my pain was stable then my blood pressure went down, well I'm stll on hbp medication but its at least under control. I tried to stop taking pain meds on my own by going off slowly and my bp immediately shot up to a dangerous level.  We are going to tackle one problem at a time, first my hep C.  That might get rid of some of the joint and muscle pain.
419309 tn?1326506891
Sounds like you're getting all the right clearances to start treatment.  Keeping your bp under control is important with your kidney condition.  Hopefully your GI or PCP is checking your blood and urine regularly to keep an eye not only on your liver functions, but your kidney functions as well; you should also be checked for regularly for diabetes, vitamin D, and calcium levels to make sure none of these is contributing to your muscle and joint difficulties. ~eureka

PS My husband did have some loss of hair initially (although not everyone does), but about 7 months into treatment, it started to grow back (but softer and with no more gray)!
1560663 tn?1298050127
I was supposed to start my hcv treatment yesterday but a pharmacy, dr. insurance screwup has delayed it, but just until today.  I am waiting for the delivery as I sit here writing this. I will keep you all posted on my progress.  My Viral Load is somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000,000.  I don't understand it very well which is why I have been reading so much about the viral load lately.  It was 7,620,000 mil. 4 months ago.  Do these numbers make sense,  I mean am I saying it right...millions? My type is 1A, I'm pretty sure.  I know I probably sound like an idiot not to know this but I only learned about viral load last month. Anyway, any more info that anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated and deeply implanted in my brain.  I'm really afraid of needles so my biggest fear of the treatment is giving myself the injection. I'm pretty sure I got my Hep C from blood transfusions that I had n 1988, not from IV drug use.  At least I have that going for me,  I don't use illegal drugs.  It seems the most likely way to have gotten the virus, but I never learned about it until 2002 after a surgery that seemed to cause me to be really sick.  After many blood tests, I learned I had hepc.  I tried to blame it on that surgery because I was given cadaver bone but I was told the incubation period is longer than that. I guess I really don't know for sure how I got it but I do know how I didn't get it.  I know I'm rambling...  I do that when I'm scared.  If I do or say anything wrong in my postings, please let me know because I'm fairly new at this.
87972 tn?1322664839
Hi Susan,

The needles supplied with the interferon are tiny; it more painful to say, pull a single hair from your head than it is to inject the meds. It’s similar to what diabetics inject on a daily basis. If you have procedural questions regarding the injection when your meds arrive, feel free to ask, and someone here will hopefully be available to walk you through it

Yes, viral load is typically in the millions; this represents the amount of virus per milliliter of blood. This value really has the most importance once treatment commences; at that point, it acts as a barometer to treatment response. Other than that, viral load doesn’t necessarily correlate with disease severity or progression, unlike with some other viral infections.

I imagine others in here have explained this, but it’s probably futile to worry about how you contracted the disease at this point. Yes, some of us here likely got it from IVDU in the past, others have no idea where it came from. Try to conserve your energy for getting rid of it; this serves you far better than obsessing over something that can’t be changed anyway.

Lots of folks have walked this path ahead of you and managed to come out the other side unscathed… you’ll be okay. Don’t forget to sip on water and keep hydrated, and maybe take a couple of Tylenol (acetaminophen) in the event you feel poorly later on.

Good luck and take care-

1477811 tn?1321390053
Good luck with your first injection. I too am not a fan of the needle and it took me a bit of time the first go around to get the courage to inject. Bill is correct that pulling out a piece of your hair probably hurts more. It's very tiny needle.

As everyone has told you, the sx vary from person to person. The biggest thing I've noticed is that sx change from week to week.

Best of luck and make sure you're good to yourself during this time.

Avatar universal
" I tried to blame it on that surgery because I was given cadaver bone"

Highly unlikely.  Bone is extremely highly processed, including irradiation.  Chances are infinitesimal that a virus or bacterium could survive bone processing.  
1560663 tn?1298050127
Wow this treatment sent me to hospital  for a week.  I became extremely anemic doc stopped treatment twice now.  I have no immune system, right now I am on procrit.  I have had phnemonia since march 1st. My doc may stop treatment for good.  Such a bummer, my viral load went from 16,500,000 to 425.  I was responding so well to therapy.
179856 tn?1333550962
Posted on other thread.
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