Some here will have experience with mind-altering drugs, some maybe not. So I just want to call attention to a few of the mind-altering effects of some of the drugs here.
EUPHORIA is being widely reported in one way or another by people, especially soon after starting their drugs. While it is great to feel 'high' and get what might be considered a bonus instead of a side-effect, it is also good to be aware of it.
Conversely, if you are taking ribavirin - that is one goddam sneaky SOB. It gets to you slowly. After about 4 weeks you might feel like you are experiencing increased anxiety, like something you'd have level 2 anxiety about is triggering a level 5 anxiety attack. You can become easily frustrated and short tempered. Riba rage is real. You can short circuit this process by telling yourself when you feel things getting tight that you are ok, it's just the drugs.
There's probably more of these kinds of effects but I felt that these two in particular needed to be documented for everybody taking the journey.
I think the euphoria comes from at least 2 different paths. Firstly is the pure mental relief of having the stigma and weight of carrying the disease finally lifted after many years, probably half a lifetime for many of us.
Secondly (and more theoretical) is clearing the virus may remove suppression of some of the body's normal functions, physically giving more energy and improved mood. And that speedy feeling.
I was feeling quite energetic and elated for the first couple of weeks on Sof/Dac but this has settled after 4 weeks to a general improved feeling of well-being.
M 61yo HCV+ ~ 30 yrs Gt1a F2 VL 223,000 ALT 54 AST 42 Tx start Sof/Dac 17Dec15.
SVR4 at 7Apr16 ALT 22 AST 22
SVR12 at 9Jun16 ALT 23 AST 25
Well, the 1960s & 1970s.....
I would have to be dead now to have had more fun then. We drew the line at needles, but that was the only line.
1974- 21, single, riding a black Harley Sportster and co owning the hottest bar in our state's capital....so I know a little about euphoria and various other mental states.
So, I am looking at my 84th pill. In a moment, it will be off to fight, well, nothing.
I began feeling physically different 10 or 12 days in: more energy mainly. That has continued. I simply feel good most of the time, especially after my normal 6-7 hours of sleep. Speaking of which, along week two, the great night's sleep started to occur.
No euphoria for me. I know euphoria (see above)
I am type A all the way. It almost drove me crazy knowing my liver was being damaged by a disease for which there was an effective cure. That situation depressed the consumate optimist. If I can see ANY water in the glass, its half full. Now, knowing I am getting better instead of worse has lifted that funk. That and lexapro. So thats my next goal: wean myself off the "I don't care" pills. Then I can better say how I really feel.
I still feel antsy at times and generally have a chemical taste in my mouth when that happens. Usually early-right after I get out if bed. Probably dehydration, but who knows...
So tomorrow I will begin to see how it feels to be free of HCV and not taking powerful DAAs.
I don't know how I am supposed to feel really. The regular old me was sick all the time...so this will be an adventure!!
I built a wooden dory and rowed it down the River of No Return made a liar out of its name.
This will be better!!
I would say I was depressed for a good while b4 starting tx. I blamed it on waking up knowing I was going to feel like s..t every day. About 5 days into tx I noticed the depression just disappeared, but I was also starting to feel quite a bit better physically. Depression is still gone 4 weeks in to tx. Yaay!
HCV 35 yrs G1a F3 Tx naive
started Lesovir-C 15/12/2015
pre tx: VL 5,250,000 ALT 374 AST 208
4 weeks tx ALT 29/ AST 33. VL < 12 UI/mL
8 weeks tx ALT 29/ AST 34. VL UND
4 weeks after tx UND. SVR4. ALT 24/AST 18
But I don't think I got hepC then. I think I got it from a gamma globulin vaccination (supposed to prevent hepatitis!) in the nasty 80's before blood was tested. Who knows. Before HIV made people aware of tainted blood we were all merrily mingling our bodily fluids and believing that we could be cured of anything by a quick visit to the STD clinic.
Anyway, I did get that euphoria for about a week and it knocked my socks off, but I didn't completely realise that until afterwards. Even given all my previous, it still surprised me. Which is why I wanted to highlight it here. Actually it felt great and if they sold pills that would do that without any harm I'd be a buyer. Still, it was an altered state of consciousness and it's always better to clock that when you are in it, I think.
I am also hoping to find out how it feels to be HCV free after half a lifetime at least with that virus inside of me dragging me down. I remember that I used to have a vitality and a zest for life that I've not felt in a long time. I hope I get that back.
Personally, from my own experience ( How I felt) I think the feeling of euphoria is
simply you reacting to starting treatment I don't think its the drugs per se.
I mean,you've waited years you feared you may die, its only natural you'll release all types of
endorphin's leaving you slightly elated in my case it all settled down quickly.
No doubt I feel better then when I started.
Note; I know Riba is completely different I know it has some serious side effects,I'm talking about sob/dac/led.
Sob/Dac from Oct 29 2015
Fiberscan 9.9 Pre treatment
Fiberscan 7.4 week 10
VL 1.3 million pre treatment
Week 2.5 VL 96
Week 5.5 VL 17
Week 10 VL UD
SVR 3 UD
SVR 16 UD
All liver functions in normal ranges.
I got that gamma globulln shot right here in UK from my friendly local GP. It was 1986 and I was going to India. It was the only way at the time to give some protection for hepA.
Around the same time, the UK were importing blood supplies from America. The Americans had plenty because they were buying blood from anybody who walked in needing the $10 dollars or whatever that they could get from selling their blood. They were also harvesting blood from the prison population. HIV had not quite arrived, well not in UK, and blood was not being tested yet. The hepC virus had not even been identified yet, it was just called non hepA-hepB. So against that background it is a miracle that anybody going for a medical procedure escaped being infected with something.
I never noticed an acute phase but many things about my body changed shortly thereafter that makes me think it might have been then that I got infected. That was to my knowledge my most risky exposure to blood products. But, you know, it could have been loads of other things too. Before HIV, nobody bothered about blood. Kids came out of the playground with skint knees running blood. Hairdressers routinely clipped ears with scissors. Little Indian guys with razors stood on the beach all day doing wet shaves with the same blade until it got blunt. That was all normal then but unthinkable now.
Note; I know Riba is completely different I know it has some serious side effects,I'm talking about sob/dac/led.
Thanks Sir, I agree with your summary of Sof/Dac.
Regarding Riba, I've been trying to post here since dt brought it up but couldn't find the words previously, so here goes:
This is my second round with Riba and i find it easier than when combined with Peg. But I should caution here that my response to Riba is pretty good without some of the serious sides like extreme rage and anaemia that others experience and this was one of the things that my specialist and I discussed when deciding to incorporate it in my treatment this time round. I mostly get insomnia and tears with a little tiredness from it. But I did start out with Sof/dac for two and a half weeks while waiting for the Riba to arrive so know how much easier things are without it.
My caution to anyone taking Riba is to ensure your bloods are monitored regularly, watch for any rashes or other unusual physical symptoms and most importantly be alert for any strong emotional reactions to anything. If you feel those coming on stop!, disengage!, take time out!, remind yourself you are on Riba! It also helps to have someone understanding to vent to (not at) and many of us here have prior experience of it and I am sure will be happy to help so don't risk personal relationships or careers by being afraid to talk about how you're feeling.
PS I'm always available for a private chat if online.
G3a since '78 - Dx '12 - F4 (2xHCC)
24wk Tx - PEG/Riba/Dac 2013 relapsed
24wk Tx - Generic Sof/Dac/Riba 2015/16 relapsed
16wk Tx - 12/01/17 -> 03/05/17 NS3/NS5a + Generic Sof
SVR7 - 22/06/17 UND
SRV12 - 27/07/17 UND
SVR24 - 26/10/17 UND
Hey Mike I will be finished in exactly three weeks so not far behind you.......
Lives in Bendigo, Victoria
No prior treatment Genotype 1b Fibroscan 0 (only showed a bit of a fatty liver) Diagnosed in February 2015 Currently on my last week of treatment taking led/sof Last LFT normal
Insomnia the only side effect
Undetected at 4 weeks
SVR4 - undetected - all bloods good and GP very happy
SVR12 bloods to be done at end of April 2016
SVR12 - undetected!!!
Sirchinenge wrote: Personally, from my own experience ( How I felt) I think the feeling of euphoria is
simply you reacting to starting treatment I don't think its the drugs per se...I'm talking about sob/dac/led.
For me Sir, I can't say that felt euphoria however for the first 2 weeks of treatment at exactly 2 hours past ingesting the meds I would experience a kind of headiness and a dulling of senses and thought processes. more a depressive heaviness rather than a kind of speediness. cheers
gt 1a VL 6m
F2/3 FibroScan - 9KPa in 2011 and 7KPa in 2015
sof/dac 10 December for 12 weeks
pre tx alt 85 ast 51
4 wk alt 34 ast 31 UND <35
8 wk alt 29 ast 32 UND <15
12wk alt 25 ast 25 EOT 3.3.16
SVR24 UND KPa5.3 F0 in normal range
I am well
.forever grateful to fixhepc
yep, for me it was feeling good just because I had finally gotten my medicine and knew I was going to get rid of this, thats enough to make anybody feel euphoric.
GT 2b; since 80's, no prior tx, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir compounded from API's at Kingswood Pharmacy in Sydney, started tx nov 6,2015, undetected at 4 wks, UND at 8 weeks, UND at 1 week after EOT, UND at 4 weeks after EOT and UND at 8 weeks after EOT. " I feel GOOD!! I knew that I WOULD!"
Having only started Tx a week ago, the first few days I was very 'hyper' and this set in about an hour after taking my Magic Pills (Sof/Dac) and lasted several hours and I crashed hard in the late arvo and by evening I was struggling to get off the lounge. Therefore, I know that it wasn't just me feeling 'excited' about Tx. The past few days I hit a 'low' and was experiencing an emotional roller coaster and felt depressed and weepy. i know this had more to do with my psychological reaction to starting Tx. Thinking about how I got this and the years since, losses I've had and thinking that feeling like crap was going to be my 'normal' state until I passed. I never thought I'd ever get to have a chance to be rid of this virus.
It is a lot to take in.
QLD Australia ☀️
G3a HCV 35 yrs Tx naive
Started Sof/Dac 13/01/16
13 Feb'16 VL UND
Great to read about everyone's varied reactions here. I didn't get any real 'euphoria' after starting tx, though on the 3rd day I had a distinct feeling of "wellbeing" at least a couple of times - a very foreign sensation as I've had depression and PTSD since early childhood (had the thought 'wow, so is this what "normal" people feel like!' lol)
Since then I haven't felt that again but there is a definite lifting of the heavy "weight" I seem to have been carrying for so long. I contracted hep in 1988 at a point when I was very unwell mentally with extended periods in the psych ward - so I guess it would only have contributed for sure in the decades since. Looking forward to having a life (that's a novel concept!) unburdened by this pernicious bastard of a disease is going to be very welcome
GT1a since 1988, diagnosed 1990
F0, tx naive
VL 262,000 ALT 40 AST 26 GGT 13 Fibroscan 04/12/15 - 2.9
Started Mesochem sof/dac 12 weeks 01/01/2016
11/02/2016 - 6 weeks UNDETECTED