Sometimes it pays to be on drugs

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/06 01:13 +00:00, original URI:

(Nothing technical in this post, sorry!)

I swear that none of what I am about to talk about has been intentional. I am merely a victim of circumstance.

I have been taking Lipitor for a borderline cholesterol level which, when combined with my lack of discipline about diet, made folks in the medical establishment feel like I should perhaps try and be safe rather than sorry.

And I have been taking Copaxone daily for my MS for the last few years, mainly because although I preferred the once-a-week Avonex, I was one of the small number of people who suffered flu-like symptoms, and I was tired of being sick once a week. I used to hate the notion of 'shooting up' daily, but I decided to get over it and just pretend it was like I was actually shooting up something elicit -- so I could have all the fun of being a drugie without any of the downsides of a life of crime and poverty....

And since August 23rd I have been taking Novantrone, as I have mentioned in this blog before. And so far the Echocardiograsm is still looking good. So, Bob willing I'll be on it for a couple more years.

Now I did not stop taking Copaxone during the time I have been taking Novantrone. I talked about it with my neurologist and at first she pointed out that if I was not tolerating the Novantrone that I'd just be back on the Copaxone anyway. And later I just never got around to stopping it, so I didn't.

I also have lots of friends who send me new articles every time they see something on the web about Multiple Sclerosis. It is almost always sensationalistic, mainly because of the combination of the facts that people reporting on these things don't understand them, and even if they did the truth is never as sexy as they need to get people interested. So I usually take what the send with a grain of salt.

But two news items in particular were interesting to me:

Lipitor-Copaxone Combo May Fight MS -- despite its upbeat nature and the fact that the positive results are with the animal model for MS, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) -- since MS cannot itself occur in mice -- and many EAE cures do not actually help with MS, it may well be good news.

Drug combo fuels hope for multiple sclerosis -- the positive results in this three-year open label Copaxone/Novantrone combination therapy are fairly exciting (and I look forward to the article that should be in the upcoming issue of Neurology), though once again one has to be careful to look too positively at popular news reports.

It seems that I have unintentionally been involved with two interesting combination therapies? :-)

I'll probably talk more about the second one after I read the article in Neurology. It will be years before anybody comes up with anything on the first one, but I'll just suggest no changes in my drug regimen for now....

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