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I was diagnosed with Hep C in 2004 and started treatment with Peg Interferon and Ribavirin in September 2005. My doctor never warned me about any side affects except that I may have severe flu like syptoms that would pass after a few weeks. My first injection was a nightmare and I had terrible nausea and joint aches. After a few weeks the depression set in, I was never an extrovert person but this was way beyond feeling sad, I wanted to die and seriously thought about commiting suicide. My family weren't the most supportive but I turned into a total id**t, very angry all the time and violent. I lost all my friends, my wonderful girlfriend and my family turned their backs on me. I was a single dad and I dread to think what my daughter remembers of those times.
I was on a six month course and my viral load at the end was zero and still is after 3 and half years of ending the treatment so I guess I'm cured. The depression never left though, it's got better but I'm not the same person and I have a rage inside me that scares the life out of me. I thought after this lenght of time I would I would be back to my old self. One side effect has been a loss of memory function, I just can't remember anything or concentrate on anything for too long.
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All I can say is my wife commited suiside (shot herself) after six weeks of taking pegasus. So, please be carefull taking it.
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I took Pegasys / Ribavirin from 6/6/08 - 12/17/08. Virus went undetectable 3 months into treatment. Came back in late March 09.

Horrible experience. Could not function. Irritable, loss of mental capacity, vision problems. Lost hair. Developed skin rashes and psoriasis, although I did not know that what I had was psoriasis. Neither did two other doctors who looked at it. Notified my gastroenterologist physician of rashes / skin problems. He shrugged: "It will go away when you stop treatment."

I now have psoriasis (scabs, basically) on my legs, arms and privates. I have also developed psoriatic arthritis in my feet, fingers and wrists. Can't wear a condom, because that exacerbates the psoriasis on my privates. Can't often have sex with my wife, because now with psoriasis on my privates, I fear infecting her.

The FDA approval letter states to STOP treatment immediately if psoriasis develops. That is not in the literature Roche provides with the drug. They say to tell your physician about symptoms. They don't say that the FDA recommends immediate cessation of treatment.

I don't know about eventual course of my Hep C -- I read years ago that 95% of Hep C people die with Hep C not of it. I have more recently read that 20% of cases develop into cirrhosis. Having it has never really bothered me, I don't think.

Before starting treatment, I was advised of "Fatigue, flu-like symptoms." Bunch of horse-hooey. Treatment is horrible. Side effects are understated. Roche makes bank by doing so. Medical care is 16% of US GDP, right?

Be very, very careful.
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I also point out something else. I now have to take drugs to combat the psoriatic arthritis. Hundreds of dollars a month, limited effectiveness, side effects of their own. The cheapest, most effective drugs are harmful to liver, so can't take them, hah!

Disfigured, partially crippled, still have Hep C. Whatever bad things I have done in my life, I gotta figure my karma is square now, because I've been just screwed.
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My husband is on pegasys for about 7 month now. Doctor says he is reacting to medication well and needs 3 more months of treatment. Well, it is very hard time for all of us. I can see how difficault for him is to handle this. i try to do as much as possible by myself (we are partners in our work and we have a 9 month old baby), so he could have a rest when he needs to. The most difficult part for me is that he is constantly RUDE to me and our first child. Sometimes it is so bad and makes me depressed a lot! BUT I know that he is the kindest man on earth, so we just need to wait pationatly untill the end of tretament. Good luck to all!
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Hi

I feel for you I really do. My lovely husband who had HepC and cirroheses of the liver had pegasus interferon treatment for one year. We were a new relationship and met only 3 months before treatment. This was good and bad for us as our first love to some extent carried us through some of the bad things to come. There was an extreme personality change, severe depression, heavy drinking, self harming, extreme possessiveness over me, he dropped weight by half, was constantly sweating, had insomnia and no appetite. We had terrible arguments and said some inforgiveable things to each other. He smashed up 4 phones, 1 laptop, broke 2 windows, sometimes this darkness came over him and he could'nt control it and he frightened me because I did'nt know what might happen. I tried to get help for him but we had moved to a rural area where he felt somehow 'dirty' to be labelled with having HepC. There was no one for us to turn to for help, so we self destructed, he is clear of hepC now, the treatment worked! We recently went away for our 3rd wedding anniversary but we both knew we were emotionally lost. We have since separated, though still in constant contact. I feel we will never work together until we have addressed the damage caused by the impact of the treatment program and the bizarre self destructive behaviour it forces out of people. My husband was not anything like who he is now, the HepC went and instead a severe depression and sense of unworthiness came. Surviving the treatment is only half of it. This study needs a follow up study to fully report on the extreme side effects that most are not fully prepared for. Pre treatment counselling and continuous counselling throughout the treatment program is a must but who is going to pay for that? Perhaps with the money Pegasus makes they could volunteer! Each person is different and I hope you all can work through it. Me and Husband are still in a rural area with no access to the services we desperately need but finding this place where other people are going through similar problems makes me realise the full extent of damage to people. If the treatment works though where all else fails is it worth all the heartache to be free of the HepC?
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I can relate to everyone above. My husband has been on pegasus for 7 wks. This is his second time on treatment. The first time he had to stop because of depression, rash that got infected, fatigue, and violent outbursts to everyone (me, his bosses, friends, family, etc) and because his viral load didnt go below 200,000. He started at 8 million. He is in geno type 1 which is the most resistant to treatment. His liver biopsy came back with "bridging" which is the start of cirrohosis. This time we are smarter and so is the treatment (pegasus). He went on anti depressants 2 months ahead of time and takes meds for aches and meds for rashes and takes frequent oatmeal baths. We also created his own space so he can go there whenever to rest or to keep himself in check or whatever. We got black out curtains so he can rest at any time. Boy what a difference. He has only been out of control once compared to every day raging during first treatment. I keep reminding myself that it is the drug raging and not him. He is still working full time but they make allowances for him so he can rest or whatever he needs. 75% of people can't work while on treatment. I think not working makes it worse. He comes home and rests immediately for 1-2 hrs. He also takes tylenol pm to sleep. I put no demands or wants on him at all. He is in control of that. He is fighting for his life. Everything else is second to that.

I hope my story helps.
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My mom was on the pagasys interferon treatment. The 6 months she was on was horrible. She was sick, tired, ached, just the whole day was bad and even the good days were awful. Moody, hateful. She couldn't keep the grandkids anymore because she was so unhappy she didn't want them to see her like that plus she couldn't pick up the babies anymore because she was so weak. The virus was gone at end of treatment but came back within 3 months. The very worst part however was after she stopped taking the medicine. Her hair fell out. Not thinned. Within 3 months she went from very thick hard to handle thick hair to nothing. She is bald. And not just bald. No hair anywhere. No eyebrows, eyelashes, arm hair, etc. She has NO HAIR on her body. It has been at least 8 months since she finished the medicine and she is still hairless. The docs say it will come back, maybe, they think, not really sure! It is awful. You may think that the other stuff was worse, but seriously, those side effects went away when the medicine was finished. The hair loss was AFTER she stopped the medicine and it is not growing back in anywhere! If anyone has any ideas of what might be the problem please post it. She is so miserable. She doesn't even like to leave the house. She cancels most of her appointments because she is so embarrased about the way she looks.
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hello i have a friend who has heptC and he is on pegasis and he has lost control of his bowl movements which yes it means he messes him self very badly i was wondering if anyone on this medication has had this problem? or should this raise concern??? he has diarea all the time??? his last test showed he was -neg for heptc so maybe its gone now but he has bipolar??so he never listen to anydamn one. plz help only if u have real anseres send me email to ***this post is edited by moderator *** *** private e-mails not allowed **
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I just want to add and say AMEN .. GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD! Give Him all the praise!!! Thank you Jesus!
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i am on the treatment now and what r the side effect if you miss ur dose for two weeks.
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Hello To You All,
I am relatively new to the combination of Pegasus and Ribivarin drugs. I had my 4th injection lastnight. I too contracted this shitty disease after i had blood transfusions in 1983 when i was run over at the age of 14.
I discovered recently that i have the RNA of Hep C and commenced the above. I was quite scared as the side affects sounded so dreadful and i didnt want my partner and family to have to deal with mood swings etc. I can say that so far the headaches are a pain as they are constant, that i have times where i feel i could fall asleep on the spot, i have troubles thinking sometimes and i have definitely had times where i have a good cry and things annoy me easily. I havnt had vomiting but at times i have the feeling that my stomach is so empty and i keep eating which i really dont like that. Overall so far the drugs side effects have not been as bad as i anticipated, but i have 5 months to go and i pray that this works as it will be worth it in the long run. Sorry to all that suffer such treacherous side effects and i really hope things settle down for you and we all end up with the results we desire.
Good Luck Everybody :)
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After reading all of these posts, I am now very scared. My husband was diagnosed with Hep C back in September when were applying for life insurance policies and just a week or so before our second child was born. What was supposed to have been a happy time, was really a heartbreaking one. Learning that he had this virus was utterly life shattering. We have no idea how he contracted it, but we suppose and his doctors believe that he got it when he was a child after having an appendectomy and bone marrow extracted in Latin America (a 3rd world country) in the early to mid '80s. If that were the case, he has had this for a very long time. He is scheduled to have a biopsy this week and to start a trial of the old Hep medication and the new one just coming out. I am very concerned now about how this is going to affect him and our lives together with our children. I am a stay at home mom, so his job is our only source of income. I am wondering how he is going to manage to work during this treatment. I am also very concerned about his mental state now and when he starts the treatment. He has been somewhat depressed since he was diagnosed, and according to all of the testimonials that I've read on the site, he will experience significant depression and behavioral changes during the treatment. Needless to say, I'm very concerned, but I don't know what to do. He wants a fighting chance. Who wouldn't? He wants to live long enough to see his children grow into adults and hopefully see his grandchildren. Does anyone know whether he will be prescribed antidepressants during this treatment or are antidepressants contraindicated for people undergoing Hep B treatment? If not, can anyone suggest how to deal with the possible outbursts that so many have mentioned in these posts? I am concerned about how he is going to change toward our children, myself, family, and his coworkers. What do you suggest I do to ameliorate such outbursts? Does everyone experience such things and suicidal thoughts, or are they rare? I would appreciate any comments, suggestions. Thank you
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okay so I need to clear up what  @ vanderschaaf  said... I have never and neither has my specialist EVER heard of someone getting Hepititis C from unprotected sex... It is extremely unlikely... My friend has been with her husband for the past 10 years and never used protection he has Hepititis C type 1... She never has tested positive...  I needed to clarify that statement.

But I have been on Pegasus almost 3 months... I now have a 0 viral load... I researched my doctor and did not start until I found one with a great reputation that I liked!!!! He informed me of ALL side effects, I let him know when depression hit me, he in return put me on a anti depression medication

I started eating healthier kept a strong support group around me  I workout daily MY positive attitude has helped me make it through this

I recommend this approach to everyone HAPPY HEALING <3
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Hi everybody.

Just an update how i am finding the combined treatment of Ribavarin and Pegasus. I am now in my fourth month, my blood tests show all normal liver counts and my doctor is very excited with the way the treatment is working for me.

I am now experiencing some more side effects at this late stage, i thought i was going to get out of the side effects easy, i have been experiencing nausea, very sore back, abdomen, ribs and shortness of breath on very minimal movement.

I have not ever thought of killing myself and when i have felt angry i have come across as short tempered but if i feel to "ragey" i tell myself it's not everyone's elses fault and i go and lie down and stay away so i dont say something i will regret.

I have had trouble going to the gym and have only been there 3 times since starting treatment which i hope changes soon, i have to push myself. i definately had miments of deep sadness and insecurity but a good support network does wonders and my partner is amazing.

 Keep your chin up everybody, the treatment is worth it, hang in there and get space if you need it and dont do anything stupid.

Take care.

 

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