Jenna, 29, was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2017, just two weeks before Christmas. After three years on one of the injectable disease modifying drugs, Jenna was forced to consider changing her treatment following a relapse shortly after the birth of her baby.
Here Jenna talks about why she chose to switch to Mavenclad and how she’s found the treatment so far.
Originally after my MS diagnosis I started on Plegridy in February 2018 and I was on it for about three years. At the end of August last year I had a baby. Unfortunately about four months after that I had a relapse. That's when my MS team suggested I try a stronger disease modifying drug (DMD). They gave me five options, which I narrowed down to either Mavenclad or Ocrevus. I decided on Mavenclad because it felt a little less invasive than having an infusion and I wouldn’t have to take time off work going into hospital for infusions.
How I take Mavenclad
Before I started treatment, I had to have blood tests to check my white blood cell count, plus a urine test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant. I also had to have a chest x-ray as well.
There isn’t a regular treatment plan with Mavenclad. It’s taken as a tablet. How many tablets you take is based on your body weight. For me, I had six tablets per week. I took six tablets for one week in April and six for one week in May. Then you don’t take anything for a year. The following year you repeat the course. If it works, that treatment cycle should hopefully cover me for about four years.
There is some ongoing monitoring involved with this treatment. I’ll have my first set of bloods since my treatment course in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed everything is on track and I can continue with the next treatment course.
I’ve found Mavenclad to be quite a convenient treatment to be on. It's nice to do a course of tablets and then not have to worry and not have to remember to take anything else.
How it’s fitted in with my lifestyle
I’ve found Mavenclad to be quite a convenient treatment to be on. It's nice to do a course of tablets and then not have to worry and not have to remember to take anything else. It felt easier than having an infusion because the tablets get delivered to your home, you can take them at home and you don't have to travel to hospital to take it. I’m now working four days a week since having my baby and I really didn’t want to have to go into hospital on the day that I was meant to be spending with him, so Mavenclad has helped me to avoid that.
The side effects
I've been quite lucky that I haven't noticed any side effects. The one that I was most worried about was hair loss, but because I had postpartum hair loss anyway, if Mavenclad has impacted that too I've not really noticed! Before I started the treatment I was having visions that my hair was going to be coming out in clumps – thankfully, it hasn't.
My advice for others
When choosing a DMD I would definitely say make use of all the materials out there and do your research to make sure it fits in with your lifestyle. I don't think I would have chosen Mavenclad if I was considering having a child, but given that I’d already had one, it’s worked out fine for me.
26 Nov 2021 - 00:00
Identifying mobility problems early on can be really helpful when it comes to preventative treatment and prolonging the use of certain muscles. In this article we talk to Jody Barber about common mobility problems in MS.
Ask the expert: speech problems
25 Nov 2021 - 00:00
We speak to a speech and language therapist to understand what causes speech problems and learn about some of the practical strategies that can help.
MS Trust funds a new MS nurse in north Wales
23 Nov 2021 - 00:00
Recently, the MS Trust was delighted to announce that we have funded an additional MS nurse to cover north Wales, through the Walton Centre, Liverpool. We chatted to Michelle and her fellow MS Nurse, Yvonne, about the difference the new role will make.
Sign up for updates from us
Keep up-to-date with the latest MS news, explore new research, read the stories of people living with MS, find out practical tips from MS experts, and discover exciting fundraising opportunities.