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The antiviral drug ganciclovir does not inhibit microglial proliferation and activation (2015) Skripuletz, et al.

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by leokitten, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I took Valcyte for 2 1/2 years. I had suspected infectious onset based on initial fever and symptoms, as well as chronically very high EBV, CMV, HHV-6 antibody titers. Valcyte didn’t have any effect on my ME, though I was working full-time and push-crashing all the time.

    Valcyte also had this annoying symptom with me that made my strong ME wired feeling at night and insomnia much worse.

    I tested that Valcyte actually was causing this worsening multiple times. Within 3 to 4 days of starting the Valcyte again, regardless of exertion, it made me much more wired and unable to sleep at all at night. Within 2 days of stopping Valcyte, the wired symptom and insomnia reduced back to my ME baseline level.

    Valcyte definitely made whatever brain overexcitation and/or neuroinflammation caused by ME much worse. Though this had confused me because I knew of this 2014 paper:

    Antiviral drug ganciclovir is a potent inhibitor of microglial proliferation and neuroinflammation

    I only searched again recently on the topic and found this 2015 paper challenging the previous findings:

    The antiviral drug ganciclovir does not inhibit microglial proliferation and activation
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    andypants, Inara, MeSci and 1 other person like this.
  2. Ron

    Ron Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks for posting this. I've been on Valcyte for a number of years with a small boost in energy in the beginning. I do have that wired feeling in the evening and trouble sleeping also. I think I'll try taking a break and see if those symptoms improve.
     
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  3. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just so we are clear, ganciclovir and valgancyclovir are 2 different drugs.
     
  4. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hi @Milo, no there are really not. Valganciclovir a prodrug for ganciclovir and gets rapidly converted by esterases in your liver to ganciclovir. Many drugs are like this, primarily to make a drug that has better bioavailability.

    See on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valganciclovir under Mechanism of action
     
  5. Jaybee00

    Jaybee00 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In my experience, Valtrex worked—it increased my energy significantly and decreased brain fog. But eventually it stopped working. I think we can agree that these drugs definitely do help some people, even though we have no idea of the mechanism involved (probably has nothing to do with viruses).

    I may give a Valcyte a short trial—are there folks who have tried both Valtrex and Valcyte and noticed a difference between the two?

    @leokitten — you are in the US? Were you able to get your insurance to pay for Valcyte? If so, how?

    Thanks
     
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  6. Jaybee00

    Jaybee00 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ron likes this.
  7. Ron

    Ron Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Jaybee00
    Genentech has an assistance program that a number of patients have used to receive Valcyte. As long as you make under I believe $100,000 a year and have a doctor
    willing to prescribe it.
     
  8. Jaybee00

    Jaybee00 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks @Ron. I’ll look into this...or travel to India....
     
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  9. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. leokitten

    leokitten Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My insurance plans through my employer had always paid for it without any issues. I started taking it when it was still only brand name and Dr. Levine only had to do a simple prior authorization. When it went generic (which it has been for some time now) insurance didn’t even ask for a prior auth.
     

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