OK, I said I would write about my side effects etc as they happened…so here goes. First up, the process of administration…..
Thru the ACT Program from Merck, a four-week supply of the medication will be sent to either your home or your doctor’s office.
Here’s a view of the inside of the package. The red and purple circles you see are the tops of the vials. One contains the dilutant, the other contains the concentrated medication. The box also contains two needles, two alcohol swabs, directions for administrating the medication, and of course the typical insert that most medications come with re: dosage instructions/contradictions/side effects etc.
Here is just a little close up of the box contents.
Since I did my first dose at the hospital with my doctors I didn’t get images of the actual administration, but next week I will try to do that for you.
*disclaimer* Keep in mind that any dosage referenced is specific to me, the dosage for each individual will vary. Consult doctor, DO NOT go by what I write here.*
First: flip off the tops of both vials, unwrap both syringes and open ONE of the alcohol wipes. Use that wipe to sterilize the tops of both vials. Uncap one of the syringes, draw back 0.7mL of air, insert the needle into the vial of dilutant. Insert the air into the vial of dilutant, and draw back 0.7mL of fluid. Insert the fluid into the bottle of concentrate. Withdraw the needle and gently swirl the vial until all the concentrate has dissolved and the remaining fluid is clear and colorless. Open the second alcohol swab, gain access to whatever part of your body you wish to use, I used my abdomen for the first shot. Uncap the second needle, withdraw 0.5mL of air, insert it into the vial with the concentrate, and draw out 0.5mL of solution. Wipe your chosen area with the alcohol swab and grasp some skin. Insert the needle smoothly and quickly at about a 45 degree angle. Make sure the needle is all the way inserted and slowly begin to inject. When I say slowly, I really mean it. It burns when it is first going in. After all the fluid is out of the syringe, withdraw the needle quickly. If you bleed a bit, wipe it off and place a band-aid on.
Dose One, Same day side effects:
Almost immediately I began to feel some discomfort around the injection site. It was a sort of burning/bruised feeling. Other than that I did not notice any side effects yet. About an hour after injection I began to get a pretty nasty headache. That was the only side effect for a while
Around 7 or 8pm (3-4 hours after administration), I began to get very achy. Muscle and bone pain. The kind of feeling you get when you have the flu. Slowly more feelings began to emerge. In addition to the aches, and the headache, I had mild nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, fevers/chills. As the evening went on these side effects continued. I was having a very hard time getting warm, felt that I was freezing no matter how many blankets were on me, I tried a heating pad, multiple sets of clothing etc. Nothing would get me warm. After I went to bed this continued. I was shivering/shaking for the majority of an hour until I fell asleep. I awoke a couple of hours later feeling extremely warm. So warm that I got out of bed and had to undress and remove all my covers. I could not cool down. I fell asleep again, only to wake up a short while later covered in a cold sweat. I was getting up and down all evening with nausea, and chills/feverish feelings. The headache remained the entire night.
Dose One, day two side effects:
This morning when I woke up I still had the headache/aches and pains. The nausea was less, but still there. The feverish feeling is definitely still here. I am feeling dreadful today, if I’m being honest. The injection site is slightly bruised today and a little sore. I am seriously lacking in energy, so much so that I am exhausted just walking from the bed to the bathroom and back. All I want to do is sleep.
Speaking of which….I am going to crash now. I’ll post again tomorrow about whatever side effects may remain.