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My ritux experience so far

Discussion in 'Rituximab: News and Research' started by Benji, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Hubris

    Hubris

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    @Learner1

    I can't read all of it but it seems like cortisone would be less dangerous/toxic yet less effective(generally speaking), did i get it right?
     
  2. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Yes, but if you have infections or a suppressed immune system already, you might not be able to fight off infections which could be fatal with the hydrocortisone.

    Also, rather than high dose hydrocortisone, there are stronger steroids like prednisone, dexamethasone, or Solumedrol. But the risks/side effects are stronger, too.
     
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  3. Hubris

    Hubris

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    That could also happen with cyclophosphamide though right?

    That is why i'm trying to have a complete infection panel done with PCR before starting cortisone but it's not easy. I have to ask around many doctors and hope one of them says yes, or keep nagging my GP until she says yes (or change to a new one).

    Here in italy we use the word cortisone to refer to the family and not a single drug; so systemic high dose cortisone probably means that i'll be using one of the drugs you listed and not hydrocortisone.
     
  4. Learner1

    Learner1 Forum Support Assistant

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    Those are questions for an infectious disease doctor or immunologist.

    From what I understand of your situation you likely have active infections as well as suppressed immune function, so suppressing your immune system could be dangerous.
     
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  5. Hubris

    Hubris

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    Yes i'm seeing an infectious disease dr in a few weeks, though the problem is that since they don't know me/cfs they can't fathom these kind of symptoms being from an infection, and since to them there is no proof of your immune system being dysfunctional (because, again, they don't know about me/cfs) they have no reason (in their head) to assume your immune system is dysfunctional and therefore low IgM = no infection, must be autoimmune(hypogammaglobulinemia isn't enough). They categorically exclude infections and they get annoyed if you try to suggest otherwise.

    You know these things better than i do, you struggled with doctors as well before going to Dr. Kaufman (sadly there is no equivalent for him here in Italy). Despite this i'm still gonna try, i won't supress my immune system before being "sure" that i don't have infections.
     
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  6. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thank you @Wonkmonk and I am glad that you can see my true intention with sharing so much info is to help others down the line. I am hoping once I am long gone that others will read about my experiences on PR and why I made certain decisions and it will help them. There is no scenario in which I would disparage another group of patients, with any illness. It is just not me.

    I know there are haters out there but I rarely encounter them on PR and this was the third time (in four years) that someone has attacked me out of the blue where I did not see it coming. It can really affect me, and it increased my tachycardia even when I woke up, but I am trying to move past it.

    I just wanted to add that the group I reference (who have my same calcium autoantibody) are a very loving group of people and to see the word "smug" applied to them blew my mind. At one point I had posted a little survey in that group when I was trying to learn more about Ritux and there were people in other countries posting replies to me in other languages and other people were translating and it was a beautiful experience (similar to what I normally encounter here on PR).

    Some of them have flown from Europe and South America to go to Mayo Clinic thinking they would be helped but were treated like shit and told the autoantibody was meaningless (unless it correlated with LEMS or cancer and for many of us, it does not). It is a small group b/c the autoantibody is rare and I have seen doctors who have never even heard of it (and they went to med school)!

    Thank you @Learner1 and this is why I have been so open re: the confusion surrounding my diagnosis so people will understand WHY I have made the decisions that I have made and know the full context. There are times that I have prayed to have a clear-cut diagnosis without any confusion but I do not know if this will ever happen. Thank you for understanding that.

    I think that is a great idea @Hubris and I was wondering, is it possible to just say that you want to be tested for viral PCR's without telling the doctor you were given an ME/CFS diagnosis? The PCR results should (hopefully!) be accurate and give you the info that you need to move forward. I often just report my symptoms to doctors who are unable to comprehend the complexities of my case.
     
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  7. Hubris

    Hubris

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    Yes of course that's what i will do, mentioning me/cfs at all is a losing strategy in most cases, i'm just gonna say i'm diagnosed with a post infectious syndrome and we want to make sure there are no infections before trying cortisone, seems like a good strategy
     
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  8. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    You are simply wrong. 99% of the world population that has even confirmed some lab abnormalities won't ever get access to IVIG, Rituximab or plasmapheresis. The first hurdle is that it's financially not an option. Only in USA you get access to these treatments with insurance if you are very lucky, in Europe healthcare is mostly public and they won't pay for IVIG or Rituximab unless you have some rare fatal disease that absolutely requires the medication to stay alive. Even if they did pay for it, most doctors would not treat "off-label" conditions with Rituximab or even IVIG. There was one UK patient here on PR that had very clear evidence of abnormal antibodies and some CNS autoimmune process, but was refused treatment by the best doctors in UK and had to travel to China to get treatment.
     
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  9. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    That was Shawn and I followed his story very closely (although his symptoms were very different than my own). When I spoke about desperation to try treatments (which I never meant to upset anyone), Shawn was the kind of person I had in mind and is what I witnessed in the other groups I referred to (people selling their homes or flying to China to get treatments).

    There was a woman in one of my groups who is a single mother of a young child with BOTH calcium autoantibodies (vs. I just have one) and she was debating, does she try Rituximab which can have major risks as we discussed above, or does she do nothing and pray that the two CA+ autoantibodies do not end up causing small cell lung cancer which is very fast growing, aggressive cancer that is usually fatal.

    That was what I was trying to express re: most of the people in those groups were either doing or were debating hard core treatments (whether to do them, how to get them approved, how to fight the insurance, do they move to other countries like Shawn did if needed, etc). I never meant it as a judgement or criticism of anyone whatsoever and was more reporting my observations as a participant in several groups. I hope this makes more sense now. If not, I will for sure never mention it again. I just still feel badly about this, and a bit confused, and it bothered me all day.
     
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  10. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

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    @Jonathan Edwards ,

    For which auto-immune diseases do you believe rituximab is absolutely suited?

    My wife suffers from SLE, although i have found no conclusive studies that rituximab is effective for SLE she is still interested in the drug.

    Do you believe rituximab is something that can be used for SLE?
    Or do you know of any alternatives that might work better? We know of benlysta, but i find the data disappointing.
     
  11. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    Interferon is used in MS does it have any use for ME
     
  12. Desertstorm

    Desertstorm

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    Had a six hour ritux infusion yesterday. Had a reaction (itchy throat and scalp) at the 200 Mg stage which was treated with Benadryl. An hour later we started up again with no problems. Next is in a fortnight. Fingers crossed it will do its thing on the B cells and steroids can be reduced or eliminated.
     
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  13. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thanks for updating us and I hope your second infusion in 2-weeks goes smoothly and you can get off the steroids.
     
  14. Desertstorm

    Desertstorm

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    It kicked my ass to be honest. Hope it helps but then like most here I try about anything.
     
  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I am hoping it helps you, too, and thanks for updating us.
     
  16. Seadragon

    Seadragon Senior Member

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  17. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    Dr. Chia has reported using for his son, but that he had a very difficult time with it and no longer uses it for patients. I believe he discussed this during his ME/CFS Alert video interview with Llewellyn King...not sure which one as there were multiple episodes with Dr. Chia.
     
  18. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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    Does Dr Chia's son have CFS/ME?
     
  19. Desertstorm

    Desertstorm

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    I had my second infusion about a month ago and was really wiped out until a week ago when things took a swing for the better. Crossing my fingers, but I am functional now.
     
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  20. Wonkmonk

    Wonkmonk Senior Member

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