Interferon 2a or Pegasys----how different are they regarding effect on the body and possible molecular remission?

Hi everyone, I am 74 years old, have ET, Jak2 and exon12 negative. I have been on interferon 2a for 2 1/2 years and am sick of having painful legs and lower back. My bloods are normal, platelets 250-300. I would like to stop the meds but haem is reluctant. Would there be any point in switching to Pegasys? I am hoping to have fewer side effects/less pain, so does anyone know if this is likely? How differently does Pegasys work compared with interferon 2a? How long does each stay in the body? Does anyone know, or can anyone ask someone who knows? Imagine going for a walk without legs hurting and going to sleep without pain stabs. I take paracetamol with my injection at night and it helps, but any exercise, including just ordinary walking, aggravates the pain.

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  • Hi Graymare hopefully you will hear from others who have started with Interferon 2A and switched to Pegasys and learn of their experiences. I did this and can give you my reactions but the most important thing to note is that everyone responds differently and it is often just trial and error. In my case it was my absolute faith in Pegasys that has kept me going for 5 years.

    Both interferons cause reactions and if you research them you will see what could be your reaction.

    I started with half a dose Pegasys and over the years have switched it up and down to quarter dose now. The time varied as well from 2 weeks to 5 weeks. My reaction is well defined and includes flu symptoms, extra fatigue and what I define as a gutted feeling. But I accept this because my research showed that Pegasys has the best control over the bone marrow excesses which will hopefully stop scarring and development into next stage.

    Your unfortunate back and leg pain may be connected to interferon reaction or not and you might still have it with Pegasys which is a harder drug to tolerate for many people.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make and feel free to ask any other questions.

  • Hi I was put on Pegasys from the outset. First few months had side effects, but now I have settled.

    No side effects to complain about just flu like symptoms once a week and fatigue.

    We are all different, What will you loose by trying it?

    wish you the best

    Sherry

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