I am confused on which medication to begin - I think I have it narrowed down to Aubagio and Tecfidera - my neurologist recommended tecfidera but I am scared of PML. Help!
I myself take Tecfidera & it's the only one I'd taken since being diagnosed in late July of 2017. There's a risk of PML but it's extremely rare luckily. I will refer you to a good article for your review, to read it, Click here
I started with the aubagio first but after time I had to switch to copaxon it seems better in some ways. I think that it depends on the sevirity of your MS and if you get forgetful about taking the pills it can be problematic. But the side affects that I incurred was hair falling out and feeling like bugs crawling on my head a lot of the time when on the aubagio. I can't remember if I had any other side affects from it but if you want they have a discussion about taking a weaker one at first starting then switching to a stronger one. It's somewhere on this forum though.
I've been on Tecfidera since I was diagnosed in 2015. I was told by both my neurologist and MS Specialist that as long as my white blood cell/lymphocyte count does not drop below a certain level, I am not at risk of PML. So far, my bloodwork has come back normal (same as before taking Tecfidera) and I have it done every 6 months. I also have MRIs every 6 months and so far, I have not had any new lesions and no active lesions since starting Tecfidera. I know for me, a pill 2x/day has been easy to take and fits in well with my lifestyle. Adjusting to it at first was a little rough, but by communicating with my doctor, we were able to work through that and at the 2 month mark, I had no more side effects.
I highly suggest you speak to your doctor about your fears and do a little reading about Tecfidera and PML (the MS Society has reliable literature). I am not a doctor - I am just going by what my doctors said to me about me and my experiences so far. If at any point you want to speak more about Tecfidera and my personal experiences with it, please feel free to contact me. Best of luck to you!
I don't have any experience with either of those drugs, but here are som sources to consider. This doctor
has a bunch of great advice about various drugs and MS in general -- highly recommended.
This PDF file
from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle is a nice summary of DMTs. That file breaks the DMTs down into 3 categories: pills, injections, and infusions. And this video
from a presentation at the Rocky Mtn MS Center talking about one drug has a nice table at about this point
which summarizes some of the popular DMT options and their effectiveness, impact on brain atrophy, and side effect ratings.