My personal experience with Interferon

Not as serious side-effects as expected
by Hansjoerg Hubrich

In April 1997 a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of Churg-Strauss-Syndrome with me. In December I was admitted to the vasculitis-department of Bad Bramstedt's famous hospital. After a thorough examination I received nine infusions of Endoxan in three-week intervals, they were supposed to take away my symptoms: I had developed a foot-drop on the left-hand-side and suffered from severe pain in both feet. After the sixth infusion had been given I was able to walk normally and even the pain in my feet had lessened to a bearable level. After the last infusion the treating doctors discussed my further treatment. A month later they had decided to put me on interferon.

On July 15th 1998 I received my first injection of "Intron-A", five million units three times a week had been scheduled. The following night was a nightmare, I suffered from high fever and fits of shivering and could hardly sleep. The following nights succeeding the injection were more tolerable although still not as restful as I had hoped for. Thankfully a few weeks later the PEN-syringe was available which is much easier to handle. In August 1999 the dose I was given was lowered to 4 million units. The only side-effect which remained was a certain amount of insomnia. Regular blood-tests showed that the relation of leukozyts and eosinophils had more or less normalised.

On the whole I can state that the only side-effects I can notice now is occasional insomnia, as mentioned above, and a loss of weight of approximately 4-5 pounds. Knowing that vasculitis can be life-threatening these side-effects are tolerable.


updated 06.02.2004