Travelling: DMT's and work holiday visa's

Hi everyone

I hope this is ok. I am just looking for some advice. I am very fresh into my MS journey, and I have recently made the decision to start DMT, specifically Beta interferons.

I am 26 and I love to travel, and in the future, I had plans for extended holidays in Australia, when I say extended holidays I mean I was planning on applying for a work holiday visa. What I am wondering is does anyone have experience on traveling whilst taking Beta interferons, as I know they have to be kept refrigerated, and taken every two weeks?

I was also wondering if anyone knows anything or, has experience of applying for working holiday visa’s after being diagnosed with MS?

Any help would be amazing!

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Hi Emma. Ive been on a weekly injection of Avonex (weekly injection of Beta Interferon ) for years. My only experience has been on short holidays. Got a letter from the neurologist to explain to airport security and anyone else that I was carrying needles / injections for medical purposes ( still got stopped for baggage searches a couple of times). Kept the injections in minibars or asked the hotel / cruise ship.

One thing to watch (nothing to do with infections), is heat. How are you in warm weather? It can affect me terribly I.e my symptoms become a bit worse and I get very tired/lacking in energy. Pre MS I was fine in warm - hot weather but these days I struggle

You may like to consider Tecfidera. As a capsule it does not need to be kept refrigerated. Disadvantage it does need to be taken twice a day. Besides it being more effective the fact that it was compatible with extended trips in our campervan was a major factor is choosing.

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Problem is the NHS won’t allow that. I am on plegridy and was told the maximum i could go abroad for in a single trip is 4-5 weeks, as they cannot arrange deliveries abroad, and I think that it also has to do with us not having to pay for the medicines. Maybe ask the MS nurse.

I’ve only done short trips - for longer trips I wonder if some form of local health insurance would help. Sometimes applying for a visa requires you to sign up to the local social security (i.e health) service. You might end up needing more than new injections, the Australian health system is probably great - so if you can afford whatever it costs, could that be the answer?

For local trips, as others have said, a letter gets me through the airport with injection pens. Hotels either have a minibar fridge in room, or I ask them to keep it in their fridge. I’ve injected in a loo in Paris airport and handed the used sharp to the pharmacy there, who took it off me no problem. Disposing of sharps at pharmacies elsewhere may require a bit more arguing. Ironically, I’ve found the worst place is the UK: NHS facilities and pharmacies refuse pointblank to take sharps off you if you are travelling in the UK: 100% unhelpful.

I hope this works out and that you have a lovely time.