My secret to pain free Avonex shots plus my secret to coping with Avonex side effects
I have been on Avonex since 1998. I have found that the way (for me) to make the shots as "pain free" as I can is to use something like Prilocaine/Lidocaine cream (or Emla) to numb the top layer of skin out.
Here's how I cope with the side effects of Avonex
I really hope this helps you...
I spoke to a nurse about early March of 2010 and when I complained of how lousy the Avonex made me feel: it always gave me flu like
symptoms for 2 to 3 days) she recommended eating fresh (unprocessed/uncanned/unheated) pineapple... before (about an hour to ninety minutes BEFORE) I inject because it has an enzyme in it (Bromelain) that helps lessen the side effects significantly, particularly if I nap after injecting. FYI: It is a natural anti- inflammatory. She also told me it had to be fresh (but I did have one MSer tell me she used canned and felt it still helped. Then again another told me the exact opposite). I find that the more pineapple I eat, the more it helps. (I can not guarantee it will since different things work differently for different people)
My Neuro recently told me she has been telling her patients about this and that she's been getting good feedback back (for ALL Interferons, NOT just for Avonex).
NOTE: she also emphasized drinking LOTS of water the day of and after the shot
UPDATE: sometimes the pineapple works fine by itself, other times it isn't as effective so I have started taking Natural Papaya & Pineapple Enzyme chewable tablets that I get at Trader Joe's ($2.49). Also - I have started making smoothies instead of eating the pineapple all by itself. The smoothies work REALLY well (I'm glad too - getting kind of tired of Pineapple). ;o)
p.s. according to my Neuro this is something that should help with all Interferons.