Those on Copaxone using the Autoject...need your advice!

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littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/5/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been using the auto injector for 10 days now. I wouldn't be able to do it myself without it and I really want to make it work. But I've been having some problems. When I use the auto injector to inject into my thighs, I get big fat lumps and sometimes huge red welts that hurt. This never happened when we did the injections by hand so I am assuming this has something to do with depth.

I spoke to a nurse at our local MS center who told me that they just tell everyone to use an 8 setting to avoid going in too shallow. She told me to watch for welts as that could be a sign I'm not in deep enough. I also talked to a nurse at Shared Solutions who actually asked me some questions about my injection areas and thought that an 8 should work just fine for me.

I have been using the 8 depth setting on all injection areas with no problems except in my thighs, which is starting to concern me that maybe I'm not getting the medicine in deep enough. Last night I got the hugest welt yet so this morning I called Shared Solutions again. The nurse today told me that it sounded like I'm going in too deep and to take my setting down to a 6.

Now this doesn't make a lick of sense to me. When we were doing the injections by hand, we put the needle all the way in. I can't imagine, even on the highest depth setting, that the auto injector can put the needle in any deeper than it is long. Can it? Also one nurse is telling me welts mean too shallow and another that welts mean too deep.

I am assuming that I am misunderstanding something about how the auto injector works, but I wish that someone would explain it to me. I have asked all three nurses I have talked to the same questions I am asking now, but nobody seems to be very informative and I'm getting conflicting information. I assume that the Shared Solutions nurses are probably the experts on Copaxone and the Autoject, and maybe I should just relax and trust that they know what they're talking about. I just wish it made sense in my head.

Those of you using the Autoject with Copaxone....have you experienced similar problems with welts or lumps? Have you played around with your depth and noticed any improvements or problems?

I sure appreciate any light that could be shed on this. Thanks guys!!

Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 3/5/2007 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Littlechina,
 
    Happy to hear you are doing well on the injections still!  Those thighs are awful spots to inject.  We don't use the autoinjector anymore but when we did we used settings of 4 and 6.  The deeper we went the more problems we had with welts, so you might try using a 6 on the thighs and see if thats the problem.  Also the thigh area is pretty large where you can inject.  By the video and the charts it seems like you have to inject closer to the knee area but you can go up much higher really.  We inject about six inches up from the knee and have fewer problems.  Best of luck!
 
Kimber
 
Co-moderator for Multiple Sclerosis
 
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

Fancystuff
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 3/5/2007 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)
I have been using theautoject for almost 4 yrs. I found a 8 works good for me.
ice real good b4 and after. after you put the needle in the autoject take the needle cover off and tap it on a paper towel to get that drip off. The stuff burnes the skin
Hope that helps
DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY!
Fancystuff

KIM


littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/7/2007 11:46 PM (GMT -6)   
We've just gone back to manual injections again, with no problems. I took my thigh setting down from an 8 to a 7 on the advice of one of the Shared Solutions nurses. That was even worse. I now have a golf ball sticking out of me. I've got these big welt/lump things all over now. I'm done with the auto injector.

Although I am disappointed that it didn't work out for me, it's forcing me to learn how to do it myself by hand which I think is a really good thing. So perhaps it worked out for the best.

On another note, does anyone have any tips for soothing and getting rid of these big fat lumps? They itch like crazy and are pretty tender. I've tried calamine lotion but it didn't help. Maybe hyrocortizone cream? Heat? Ice? What has worked for you guys?

Buckeye
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 3/8/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey LittleChina,
I get lumps on my belly. The nurse told me as well that I need to go deeper to a 5. She said the fattier the tissue the deeper you need to go. You need to be patient while trying the different settings. I took me a while and now I know what settings I use for what. Maybe the rate at which it injects is too fast or too slow?? just guessing....
Also, they told me to heat up the area a little before injecting and ice afterward. The side effects will lessen as we continue to inject. Mine are getting better and I will take these side effects over the Avonex side effects any day of the week.
Do it by hand or auto inject ...just as long as its done. You can do it....come on sister your my Copaxone twin. LOL...Man Iam a dork.
Talk to you later.

MSBLESSED
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/10/2007 6:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nikki~
I'm so sorry to hear that you are having problems with the Autoject. I also get the lumps and bumps, but I've gotten used to them. They have gotten better over the last 3 months though. I have VERY sensitive skin, so I'm used to reactions to any kind of shot. My Autoject broke (LORD) and I had my Mom give me the shot manually, and it still did the same thing. The best thing I've found for the itching is the Benadryl Gel- Extra Strength. It's instant relief! I'ts been 3 months with the autoject and I typically stick with around an 8 for all areas. I don't do arms, because they hurt. My arms are the most sensative part. I don't even do flu shots for that reason. Anyway, I never do the top of my thighs either. I always do the side and up high. It also doesn't swell immediately but the next day. Thats when the itching starts too. This is my only option at this point because I'm not brave as you to give myself my own injection and my husband isn't either. He can barely be in the room when I'm doing them. He's tried to do them for me like twice and I guess he figured it was too much. On a side note, sorry it took so long to get back to you, but things have been a little rough around the house lately. I've decided to file for divorce, so I REALLY need the autoject more than ever know. Anyway back to you. (sorry, I'm still processing) Warm before and ice after each injection. That's what I found works best for me. Like Buckeye said, "just as long as it's done!" I'm still very proud of you for sticking with it. I'm still working on the MSN/AIM thing. I may have MS but that's something I didn't forget!! HAHA! Keep me posted. You know I care.

littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/10/2007 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Gina~
Psh, enough about me! Goodness, I am so sorry to hear about your divorce. Let me know if there is anything I can do, or if you need someone to talk to or just vent to about it. I come from a divorced family, my parents split when I was a teen. My in-laws recently split as well. It can be rough. But remember that we're all here for ya. Hang in there and don't ever forget how strong you are. Because you are.
~Niki

MSBLESSED
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/11/2007 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Niki! This post was supposed to be about you!!! LOL! I thank you for your support. I also installed MSN Messenger for this laptop, so I'll be able to chat while I'm at home. It has been rough, and I'm trying to remain strong. Some moments are easier than others. I'll be returning to work FT in another month (maybe sooner now) so I'm staying calm and trying not to get too upset to spark a flare up. I need to be healthy to work FT to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. God has never let me down yet, and I trust Him to get me through this situation as well. This is only the beginning phase of the divorce process, and I'm at peace with the decisions I've made. I know what The Word says that I deserve in a husband and I shouldn't have to settle for less. Reach for your higher power (whatever that may be) for my cointinued peace and strength. OK. Enough deepness for one morning. I've decided I am going to church and with this time change thing today, I need to get a quick "power nap" and get this MS Fatigue Monster off my back!! But guess what??? I haven't missed an injection!! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! That's soooooooooooo huge when you're feeling crappy! I've got to think of myself and make my health a priority. WHEW!! I'll log on later. Have a blessed day!!

littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/11/2007 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it seems that you have pretty positive attitude about everything, and I am a firm believer that attitude is key to everything. What is the saying....Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it. So true. We just gotta keep reminding ourselves of that. And keep the faith, sistah! I've been thinking about starting to go back to church myself. I need God in my life more than ever now.

I'm sure proud of you for not missing an injection. I tell ya, there are days when I'd just like to skip it. Like tonight! Haha. But I will do it anyway. I am almost to the point where I can do it myself. Right now my husband is putting the needle in for me, and then I do the rest. That right there is a big step for me. Once I can get that needle in myself....oh man, we're having the biggest ice cream party!

Anyway, you are a Goddess and I am so in awe of how much you are doing what with working and raising a daughter and all. Amazing. Seriously. Truly awesome.

If you're home sometime and want to chat, my MSN is littlechina5@hotmail.com. And guess what? My friends made me break down and get a myspace. I thought it was just for the teenagers, but it's kind of a good way to connect and stay in touch with family and friends too. I can use my blog to update everyone about what is going on with me, so I don't have to repeat myself ten times. So you could check me out there if you wanted http://www.myspace.com/littlechina5 The pic of me is from Halloween, by the way. I don't usually wear pointy hats. :)

Love and Light, Blessed Be!
~Niki

horsegirl01
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/24/2009 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never been on a chat line before, but I just had to write.
I was diagnosed with MS a year and a half ago.
I was put on Copaxone right away.
I was using the autoject and getting horrible reactions every time. I tried heat and ice in all different combinations of before and after. I tried Benedryll, Preperation H, and all lots of different settings on the autoject. Nothing seemed to make a difference. It was getting to the point that I could not use my arms, and my legs were soon the follow. My injection sites were all hard and bruised. I am a thin, muscular person and thought that may be part of the problem.
Before I quit, Shared Solutions encouraged me to try self injecting.
I CAN NOT believe the difference.
I am not getting even close to the reactions I was getting with the autoject.
The Shared Solutions nurse taught me how to go in at a 60 degree angle.
I am not a lover of needles, but this is way easier than I thought.
Just had to share!

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3524
   Posted 1/24/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey horsegirl01.......(great name do you have a horse?)

I agree with you.  I have done the manual injections since day one.  I took one look at that plastic doo hickey and said,"No way!!"  I have not really had too many bad bumps or lumps or itching or anything.  I am not at all a needle phobe though.  It was not a big deal.  For those with a problem with needles it is a real problem.  I hope an effective oral med. comes out soon.  Check out my post on claderbine.  That might be our first decent oral med.

Welcome to the board!!!

 


Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


bohuck2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 1/25/2009 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Nikki,
I used to use the autoinject when I was on Copaxone and my nurse asked me why do I even inject into my hips? I got to where I would inject into my stomach (different areas) and that way I didn't inject into my legs or my hips. Mmmm maybe that's why I no longer am on Copaxone, seriously though, my Neuro re-diagnosed me from RRMS to PPMS and the Copaxone would do nothing for me. Good luck to you.
 
 
 
 
                                        Chuck the old man :>)
                                   AMWTP Training Instructor
                                          Idaho Falls, Idaho
                                  Diagnosed with PPMS May, 2006
                                   but still working at the present.         
                Tried just about everything there is for MS, including Tysabri
                               Waiting to start Cytoxin Treatments soon.


theshultzgang
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/25/2009 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Littlechina,

I am sorry you are having such a problem with your injector pen!! I am too big of a wimp to do the shot manually. I ice before I shoot it in, and I also warm the shot in my hand for about 10 minutes which seems to make a difference. Also, I have my dial at the most shallow line.

Good luck!
Envision health and your body will follow!
Diagnosed with RR MS 11/2001
Healing more and more every day
Andrea :)


Steph57
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 1/27/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey there :-)

 

I've been using the Autoject for my Copaxone injections for about four years, and I guess I have a high discomfort threshold, 'cause except for a little swelling (rarely), I think that a paper cut is far worse. Of course, maybe I have an abundance of SUBCUTAEOUS area in which to inject myself!!

yeah   yeah   yeah yeah yeah

I am at the "4" setting, and was instructed, in person, by a Shared Solutions nurse who came to my home! I don't know what the settings mean though.

Take care and good luck--

Steph57


 


Beau2006
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 1/28/2009 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi there - the numbers on the auto injector is a depth guage....the actual syringe is 10 mm....so when you dial in 8 or 5 for instance with the injector, you are setting it so that the needle goes in 8 mm or 5mm or what ever setting you have selected.

Its seems for the most part,many are instructed to use 7mm or 8mm. I use 8 on my arms, hips and stomach, and 7 on my legs.

I find that if you are a bit gun shy, where by u do not hold the injector tight against your arm, it tends to bang around abit, or jump, etc.....and this (for me anyways) tends to cause the bruising, the redness, the swelling, etc.  If I hold it tight to my area of injection, it tends to be more sucessful.  I became gun shy a couple of times as I ended up hitting muscle, and ouch!~!!!

I also do my shots at night, usually just before I go into the shower, and while there, I end up massaging my arm, and usually by the time I get out of the shower the discomfort of the shot has diminished.  Applying skin cream/lotion to the injection site seems to help as well. If after the shower ritual it still stings, etc - I go to the freezer and get an ice pack, and hold it to the injection site for awhile...

I do find, other than behind my arms, I have converted back to self injections, as it appears that I have more control of where I am going to inject the copaxone, the speed to which it will enter my arm, and the speed to which the copaxone enters my body.....I have had less problems doing it this way then relying on the injector.

Just last night I used the injector on my arm, and even this morning, I have a sore arm, and it is hard and swollen - guess I did a lousy job of it last night.

Go to the Copaxone web page and it provided guidance in the use of the injector as well as instructions as to the settings to be used.   Also note that Copaxone has now a thinner needle, which may assist with this!
 
Gary
 
 

Emanuel
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/30/2009 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Please read and adhere to forum rules before posting. Advertising in these forums is not allowed unless done with proper approval.

Post Edited By Moderator (rhondab) : 1/29/2009 11:50:20 PM (GMT-7)


Beau2006
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 2/3/2009 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   

What advertising - we are talking about copaxone injectors here?

Gary


Meche
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 2/3/2009 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I started on injections in may/june 08 and at first I used the auto injector. I was advised by my MS nurse to rotate the injection sites like, left side of tummy, next injection right side of tummy, then hips, then thighs. like you I dread when my injection site is my thighs as i find it ever so painful and once I misplaced it and hit a blood vessel and it was sore for a long time. I tried injecting myslef and find it bit better as I dont feel like there is as much force when it goes in. I always leave my thighs as last injection site as it does take forever for the bruising to go away. i did ask about the bruises to my nurse and was told that its all normal.

I take my injection out the fridge an hour before injection (i am on rebif so dont know if it is slightly diff) and that seems to help also, and like it was said above, I make sure there is no drip on the end of needle as it does sting. As soon as I take my injection i rub the site and this helps a bit, other than that i just grit my teeth.

Sorry havent been that much help but just wanted to let you know I can sympathise with you on this one, xxxxx
Meche xx


bohuck2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 2/9/2009 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Gary,
I think Rhonda was talking to Emanuel when she talked about advertising.
 
 
 
 
                                        Chuck the old man :>)
                                   AMWTP Training Instructor
                                          Idaho Falls, Idaho
                                  Diagnosed with PPMS May, 2006
                                   but still working at the present.         
                Tried just about everything there is for MS, including Tysabri
                               Waiting to start Cytoxin Treatments soon.

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