Should I take Ocrevus?

Should I take Ocrevus?

If your doctor has suggested Ocrevus you are certainly moving up the ladder of disease modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis. With each of the IV drugs especially come side effect risks. Ocrevus is no exception. The most serious they show is:

  • Risk of cancers (malignancies) including breast cancer. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about standard screening guidelines for breast cancer.

That’s a pretty serious risk to consider. They also talk about PML Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy. This is the brain infection caused by the JC virus that causes fatalities or severe disabilities. Where no cases have been seen with Ocrevus, it is still listed as a possible side effect. This is some serious stuff!!!

The major side effect Ocrevus shows which is more common is risk of getting upper respiratory tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and herpes infections. Ocrevus will wipe out your immune fighting B cells so this isn’t fully unexpected.

The decision to take a drug like this has to weigh the pros and cons. You have to make a decision both with your outside support and your doctor.

I’ve been on Ocrevus for a year and a half and I was on its sister Rituxan prior for a year and a half. I made the switch hoping that it would slow down my progression as well as stopping relapses. I am both relapsing remitting and secondary progressive. Yet I keep progressing. Do I need to be on something so strong that isn’t slowing down the progressing? Would I be progressing faster if I wasn’t on this drug? The other drugs like Tysabri was stopping my relapses as well but we moved to Rituxan and Ocrevus because it showed some evidence of slowing MS progression. Here I am 3 years later worse than 3 years back but I might have been even worse if I stayed with Tysabri. Who knows. These are the questions I will ask my specialist next month. I myself am starting to wonder if I need to be on this drug still.

4 thoughts on “Should I take Ocrevus?

  1. Hi, sorry you are in such a state. My Dr also wanted me to go on Ocrevus, but I was too scared. I am on Rituxan though. I don’t feel any better, in fact the limping and fatigue has gotten noticeably worse. And now I’m afraid to stop it for fear of further decline. I long for the old me, the happy me. I wish I had the magic pill for you and for me. Peace and lots of gentle hugs.

    1. I preferred Rituxan to Ocrevus. I only switched because of insurance issues. They are virtually the same drug but rituxan has almost a 15 year drug tracking history. I’m just starting to wonder is it worth it.

  2. Your insurance wouldn’t cover rituxan? And if the same why do you perfer rituxan? Was it the side effects? I haven’t experienced the tiredness you described but I’m an insomniac, even the IV benadryl doesn’t put me out. Just the god awful fatigue

    1. Rituxan wasn’t approved for MS. I am more partial to Rituxan because it’s been around for almost 15 years so there is a history on the drug. Rituxan is a chemical based antibody Ocrevus is a human antibody. This is how it was basically tweaked to go through the trials for MS approval and a new patent. I have many posts on the two. I just liked that rituxan has a history.

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