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Hello I have been referred to to the New Therapies Clinic in my area. It appears that I have had relapse last year and at least one new lesion on my MRI. The suggested options for me are Tecfidera and Aubagio. I have read the fact sheets for both drugs. I do have concerns and would welcome people’s thoughts. My concern is the risk of PML when on Tecfidera. Thanks Helen

Hello Helen

I think with all the DMDs, you have to balance the risks with the potential rewards.

Have you seen https://www.mstrust.org.uk/about-ms/ms-treatments/ms-decisions-aid ? You can directly compare the two drugs and make a decision then.

Personally, I don’t like the look of Aubagio. The average relapse reduction rate is only about 30% but there are a whole list of potential side effects.

I take your point about the risk of PML with Tecfidera. But actually it’s a tiny risk. You can only get PML if you have the antibodies for JC virus and your lymphocytes drop very low and remain there. The medical team at your hospital are very aware of the risk of depleted lymphocytes and for that reason test your blood very regularly (monthly generally). Lymphocytes are the type of white blood cell that fight against viruses (which PML is). If they do drop very low, you stop the Tecfidera and the lymphocytes recover back to normal levels after a few months.

I took Tecfidera for 8 months and did have to stop because of my lymphocyte count dropping. It wasn’t a problem, just a disappointment that the drug wasn’t right for me.

Best of luck with your choice.

Sue

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