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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Message Board

  • bjbowker bjbowker May 21, 2005 2:14 PM Flag

    Side Effects - to rcapra re # 7521

    Thanks for your input regarding the side effects of the old treatment. I have a very dear friend who is facing the possibility of the same treatment (unless this VX950 really works). If I were to send you an e-mail address, would you be willing to talk to her about your experience with Interferon and ribo.? She is justifiably apprehensive and information about your experience could be invaluable to her. Thank You.


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    • Sorry to butt in, but this:

      Is a great site for support and information .... a lot of current, past, and future users of current HCV treatment. So, there is plenty of knowledge to help find information.

    • Your friend should look at a range of experiences. Different people have very different reactions to peginterferon/ribavirin. I read a lot of blogs and post of people's experiences, and to tell you the truth, I was so nervous at the start of treatment that I was shaking so much I almost could not do the injection. My wife starting walking backwards away from me and got behind a door, afraid I was going to inadvertantly fling the syringe across the room.

      However, that first week, I felt no side effects at all, nor any the second week. Since then I've had brief bouts of the commonly described sides, but nothing too bad. Now, at week 10, the worst thing is the fatigue and lack of wind from the low red blood cell count (ribavirin). It's sometimes feels like I'm operating 10,000 feet above where I'm used to.
      Some people breeze throught the peginterferon/ribaviron treatment. Some people have sides so bad they have to lower the dosage or discontinue. I'm not sure if there is a way to predict what a particular person is likely to experience. To increase my odds, I worked out, improved my diet, lost some weight, and got more fit in the months prior to starting.

      From what I've read, the side effects of protease inhibitors falls into a different category. With this class of drugs, toxicity is the hurdle. I am assuming this might be from the drug affecting the chemistry of the person's body in addition to the effect on the virus. So far, it looks like VX950 is a good candidate for getting past this issue. Still, expecially after the Elan/Tysabri incident the FDA and drug companies will be cautious and vigilant in looking for adverse events that are delayed in their expression. So I'm not expecting VX950 to be available soon, even though it is extremely promising.

      I found this article
      especially interesting. It might be of interest to Vertex investors who are not familiar with Hep C and its current and future treatments. You need to do a free registration to gain access to the site, but it is an excellent site for medical/drug information. The most relevant part of the article begins on page 4.

      BTW, I'm long Vertex.

      • 1 Reply to pobrecabron
      • Thank you, everyone,

        It's wonderful to know that there are people that will take the time to answer medical/personal questions like this on a message board that's focused on stock prices. I know that my friend will be very grateful for your help.

        I'll try to get her start a dialog here in the next few days, so she can ask her own questions. I know nothing about this except that I want her to have all of the information that's available for both the old treatment and the VX950 treatment.

        Here's a question that could be important to both potential patients and investors alike. Is VX950 a treatment that could alter one's body chemistry such that the interferon/ribo treatment could not safely be used afterwards if the VX950 didn't work? Could a Doctor end up saying to patient, " Well, if you've used VX950, you can't do the interferon treatment for several years without some kind of risks or complications"?

        Just food for thought -- I know that it's way too early for these possible complications to be studied yet. So many questions.

        Thank you all again, and hopefully she will be talking to you soon.


    • Sure.

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