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Side Effects From My Third Medication For CML 2007-Present
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Greetings! This is the third of three articles I wrote to share my experience and side effects of the three medications I have taken for my CML. The first drug was Interferon, followed by Gleevec, and currently I continue with Sprycel. I was diagnosed back in 2003 and am delighted to tell you that while on Sprycel my blood work became NEGATIVE for any Philadelphia+ chromosomes. I have now been negative for over a year! I have been taking Sprycel for over three years.

To catch you up from article two I switched from Gleevec after 3 years because of side effects. I had an insidious development of muscle weakness, fatigue, and a terrible bothersome muscle/nerve sensation that I did not want to tolerate any longer. This was in addition to the intense cramping that occured many times a day in my hands, feet, and calves. Cramping is a documented side effect by the drug company. This other muscle sensation was not a documented side effect. After several discussions with my doctors over a few months we all agreed I should try Sprycel.

Amazingly enough within about 7 weeks of taking Sprycel (Dasatinib) I felt noticably better. My muscles no longer had the irritating constant sensation that was so terribly distracting to me at all times. My energy level began to improve. Probably after about 6 months I went back to working a fulltime 40 hr week.

In my experience Sprycel is a wonderful drug. The first benefit is I only take 1 pill twice a day versus 3 pills twice a day.The only side effects I have are a slight rash that covers my trunk and face. It has been there from day 2 or 3 and never goes away. The rash on my face is only obvious when I get flushed from heat, or anxiety. This rash does not itch, it is just there. I never felt like I had to vomit - what a relief! I never had issues with blood counts being low or with swelling. I continue to fight fatigue and weakness but the terrible muscle/nerve sensations have never returned. Best of all I remain negative for Ph+ chromosome.

The lesson that I want to impart in all of this that if you have a side effect that is very disturbing to you be sure to discuss it with your physician. In my case the doctors had never heard of a complaint such as mine with the constant muscle sensations that were so bothersome. However, they understood that it was important to me to try something different so they agreed. I made the case that since there is a documented side effect of cramping then clearly something is going on in the muscles related to this drug. In my case the muscle issue went to another level. I was delighted to find so many positives with Sprycel. The change again has been wonderful.

Thank you for your interest. Please reference my other articles for further information. "Side Effects from my First Medication for CML in 2003" "Side Effects from my Second Medication for CML in 2004"

I am a Registered Nurse with CML since 2003.


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