It’s been a couple of days since I took my first dose of Tecfidera. I do just want to talk about that initial dose in this post and then I can give a follow up in a couple of days.
I was so nervous before taking that first dose. I didn’t think I was going to be working that day but did end up picking up a shift. Honestly, I think it’s better that I did because otherwise, I would have been sitting at home all day, freaking out about taking the medication that night.
I got home probably an hour later than I thought I would, so by the time I got home, it was basically already time to take my pill. As soon as I saw that box sitting on the kitchen counter, though, I began to panic a little bit.
Inside the box was a welcome letter from the drug company, an instruction form saying that I needed to let them know I’d received the delivery, a brochure, and the pills themselves. I should say, the pills are packaged very nicely. I know this may seem like a silly thing to notice, but they are labelled with each day of the week, sorted into morning and evening doses, and everything is just nice and clean looking. I guess it should be nice looking, considering how much people are paying to take these drugs.
Anyways, I had read a lot of notes from people who had suggested the best ways to take the drugs. The common suggestion was to take it with food (particularly something fatty) and to take it in the middle of your meal so you are kind of sandwiching the pill between the food you’re eating. The point of this is to reduce the chance of any kind of GI side effects.
We were having homemade mac and cheese that night (yum!) so that turned out to be a perfect meal for my first dose. I ate about half of my food, picked up my pill, and just sat and stared at it for awhile. I really had to will myself to take it. As badly as I wanted to be medicated to slow the progression of my MS, I was so scared of how my body would react. Once I did finally take the pill, I finished my meal and that was that.
The problem with what I’ve read about Tecfidera side effects is that they seem to be delayed by a couple of hours after you’ve taken the pill. This basically means that if you are going to have side effects, you have no idea when they will strike. Every time I felt itchy at all, I was sure that I was flushing. Anytime I felt a little twinge in my stomach, I was worried it was a GI side effect.
By the time that I was heading to bed, I was still nervous there would be side effects to come but I hadn’t experienced any up until that point. It would seem as though I had gotten lucky and would be able to take the medication without any side effects! Woohoo! I was so excited and relieved. I had worried myself so much about starting the drugs and then nothing came of it at all. This was the kind of “let down” that I could get used to!
It’s been a couple of days since that first dose, but I will save the rest of the story for another post! For those of you who are still reading, thank you, and keep smiling!
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt