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Aubagio Followup

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Last evening I attended an area meeting to learn more about Aubagio, one of the three oral MS medications on the market. General MS physician Mark Hospodar provided the informational portion of the session, complete with a slide presentation full of facts about multiple sclerosis. It was very basic and mostly repetitive for those pro-active MS sponges.
Not mind-blowing stuff, but pretty heavy on the importance of medicating upon diagnosis.

Enough to convince me to take a closer look at my own choice to remain MS drug free.

It was an intimate group of approximately a dozen women plus the doctor. Very relaxed, informal, and free of judgement. We were all there for the same reason with the same goal in mind: to discover the "wonder" drug, or at least something closer to a promised remedy. (In addition to the fantastic Italian cuisine at Muriale's Restaurant. Yum!:)

We heard from Aubagio veteran, Renee, who told her journey with her initial diagnosis s well as her life with Aubagio. Thank you, Renee. Your testimony might be the weight that tosses me into the Aubagio ring.

Danielle Welch is the pharmaceutical rep responsible for bringing this program to small-town West Virginia. Super job, Danielle! I plan to attend another such event in my research of said drug. The more you know... for the unsettling side-effects of Aubagio...
What to expect when you take Aubagio (Teriflunomide) for Multiple sclerosis
  • Long term.
  • Long term.
  • Headache.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hair loss.
  • Nausea.
  • Burning or prickling sensation in hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Joint pain.
  • Can cause temporary hair loss but it will grow back after stopping.
  • You'll need blood tests before and during treatment to make sure you don't develop any liver problems while taking Aubagio (Teriflunomide).
  • Aubagio (Teriflunomide) may stay in your blood for up to 2 years after taking it, so it is important to discuss a plan with your doctor in case it's not the right medication for you.
  • You can't take Aubagio (Teriflunomide) if you're pregnant, have severe liver damage, or are currently taking Arava (leflunomide).

Aubagio Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Aubagio

Tell your doctor if any of the following symptoms become severe or don't go away:
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea or nausea
  • Toothache
  • Blurry vision
  • Acne
  • Itching
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss

Serious Side Effects of Aubagio

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms listed in the Warning section, as well as the following serious side effects:
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Pale or cold, gray skin
  • Red, peeling, or blistering skin
  • Rash
  • Confusion
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Signs of infection, which may include fever, cough, sore throat, or chills
  • Numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • Heaviness or weakness in the legs
  • Stomach, side, or back pain
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, which may include hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

HAIR LOSS????????????????????????????
Now, that's a seriously unsettling side effect, which proves my vanity just for the fact that I am mortified by the prospect of baldness. I know, I know, get a grip, right? If it helps, I suppose I can find an upside to this negative. (pretty wigs, license to sport a new hat every day, less time in front of the mirror, maybe starting a new trend in fashion?)

Seriously, my biggest concern is the potty thing. Having already experienced the horrid side effects of a previous oral med, I have no desire to live on my bathroom floor again. And after hearing Dr. Hospodar's explanation of the ingredients of that drug, I am really gun shy. (No, he was not bashing another treatment...well, maybe a little... but answering my question as to the differences in the two.)

This event has given me a plate-full of food for thought. I enjoyed the evening and met several folks, including Donna Galloway and finally putting a face to a name. So glad to meet you, Donna!

I think the biggest plus for me, other than gaining some much needed knowledge, was the opportunity to hang out with other people who "get me". I didn't realize just how thirsty I was for that comradery.  True friends come few and far between in real life, but on the planet MS, it can get very lonely. 

We need that community where all are the same. It is the best MS med  around. So, I urge you to find your own little soar system and become a part of it.

Have a great day,
Lisa, The Lady with the Cane

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