I've been taking Rebif since January 2010, with little-or-no (TOUCHING WOOD FRANTICALLY) side-effects. Weirdly, it's such a massive decision - your Disease Modifying Therapy of choice - but I can't remember loads about the decision-making process.
Rebif is one of many trade-names of Interferon beta-1a, co-marketed by the 'lovely' people at Merck Serono and Pfizer.*
But I know that the things that swung it will have included the RebiSmart gizmo - I am a man of a certain age and I do likes me some technology.
HOWEVER there's something clunky and "Heath-Robinson" about the Rebismart - the whirrs and beeps and clunks sound a bit STEAMPUNK, really.
|shonky pic of the RebiSmart screen|
I've had a couple of issues with needles getting stuck (long-nose pliers to the rescue) and - hilariously - the batteries running out when I was in the middle of injecting - "Hmmm, why is it taking so long...?"
The main thing for me is the fact that I don't need to see the needle - if I'm going to be doing this three times a week for the foreseeable future, I could really with it being as UNTRAUMATIC as humanly possible.
And yes - there is an option to check how much charge your batteries have left...
There's even an option to track your injection sites but I've never used that, because I've been using the i-Inject iPhone/iPod app, pretty much since I started on Rebif.
|The author on Monday evening|
The main thing I use it for is to track injection sites, making sure that these are rotated regularly - like most people, I have my 'favourite' sites (front of thighs, my butt) which I could happily keep going for (until the itching reaction just gets too much to take) - this keeps me on track.
Also (unlike other apps I've tried), if you really don't fancy going into a site, you can just choose something else - I'll do anything to avoid injecting into my upper arm (especially my right arm).
* A CYNIC WRITES - last year, Merck Serono brought out a plush magazine and a free iPhone app called MySupport. In my more cynical moments I can find myself wondering - if there's this much money in the treatment of MS (neither plush full colour magazines printed on heavy-stock paper which are mailed out at no cost or iPhone Apps are particularly cheap to develop and distribute) - are we EVER likely to see a cure?
But that sort of thinking is really not helping anyone, is it?