After I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the first doctor I visited suggested I begin a treatment that involved a shot everyday. I was terrified about having needles in my house and putting them into my body everyday.
Luckily, I decided to get a second opinion, and this doctor thought I was a perfect candidate for Gilenya. You are “young and healthy,” he said.
Gilenya was approved in September 2010 as the first once-daily pill for the treatment of relapsing remitting MS. Admittedly, I was scared, as the drug can effect your heart rate, and, like all medications, there are complications, risks and side effects.
It is a long process to begin Gilenya. First I needed to get an EKG, then meet with an ophthalmologist and get blood tests. It was an inconvenience and overwhelming, but worth it in the long run.
The next scary part is your first dose. You must take it at a clinic and be observed for six hours to make sure your heart rate doesn’t decrease, or have any bad reactions.
It was anti climatic for me. My husband and I sat in a room for six hours and watched Netflix. A nurse came in to take my blood pressure every hour and I had no problems.
Since that date, one and a half years ago, I simply take a pill every morning and have had little to no side effects.
After six months, my doctor ordered an MRI and was very pleased with the results. He said there were no new lesions and Gilenya was working really well for me.
I feel very fortunate to have been diagnosed at a time when there are oral drugs to slow down the progression of the disease. You might want to bring it up at your next doctor’s appointment.
Do you take an oral medication? Have you considered Gilenya?
I take and pay for Gilenya monthly. All opinions are my own.