Hey Mystery Reader,
Congratulations on starting a treatment. Copaxone is a piece of cake. I do not use the autoinjector. It kind of freaked me out but lots here do use it with success. I have no problem reaching injections sites. I have almost no local reactions and only on occasion do I have the shortness of breath and it is very, very mild. Copaxone is quite easy to manage. Good luck and keep us posted. I know you are nervous but you will do great. I was nervous too and now it is just something I do everyday like brushing my teeth.
Love and prayers,
Hi Mystery Writer,
The autoinject makes it easy for me. I take out 5 shots at a time so they are always room temperature. I read they can unrefrigerated for 7 days. I experimented because I got hives on my legs, and called shared solutions, they advised me to set the autoinject at 8 so it would go deeper, being overweight, this has solved the problem for me. i was scared at first, but the nurse who taught me was very patient. It is so easy to do with the autoject that my 11 and 15 year old girls do it for me most nights.
Good luck, let us know how you do.
Hi Mystery Reader,
Good for you for starting treatment. The nurse will train you in how to inject in all of the sites, both manually and with the autoject. There are some tricks that you can use to reach all those areas by yourself, whether you choose the autoject or manual method (I am an autoject girl, myself J). Have you received the Copaxone bag with the injection training dvd in it? If not, here is a link to the online version:
I totally understand and share your nervousness about the IPIRs (the chest pain/shortness of breath), however luckily only a small number of Copaxone users will actually have this happen with any severity. If you do have an IPIR while you are alone, you can call Shared Solutions (the people who support Copaxone) and a nurse will stay on the phone with you until it is over.
As far as injection site reactions go, I think there is a good deal of variation in how many/how severe these are, depending on the individual. You will be given tips to help lessen the reactions, such as heat, ice, and if you use the autoject, changing the depth setting. I did get some pretty good welts at one point, but nothing that was unmanageable. Now, (6 months into treatment) I do still have site reactions, but the severity has lessoned with time. The day after my shot, it just looks like I’ve been bitten by a mosquito at the injection site, and does not usually bother me with pain and/or itchiness.
Like Gretchen mentioned, I too have found that the injections have become a part of my routine. I both hope and believe that this will happen for you as well. Best of luck with your training, and please keep us posted and let us know if you have any questions.
I also have only been on copaxoneand really like it because the side efects are very minimal it does not affect me to be able to put in 8 hrs of work with no problems.
I started using the shots manually and a few months later switched to the AJ. It works great. I have mine set to 8 for all areas. Pinches more in the arms that's it.
I am one of the few that get the worse end of the site reactions. I have never got shortness of breath but... (it's ok_) after my shot once in a month or two I hit a vein. (All of this is over in a matter of maybe 2 minutes) Injecting into the vein causes me to 1) feel like someone punched me right in the abdomen, 2) then I get heat travelling up my toso to my head 3) my mouth tastes coppery, and hearing fades out-- worse I feel like I might passout. I just don't panic, sit down and pay attention to my breathing and try to relax.
I have learned to deal with this reaction, because I don't want to switch to the other ABC drugs and feel like I'm sick all of the time.
What I do now when this happens. I basically get the blood flowing faster working the med though the system faster, by running in place, or any aerobic action to work up the heart quicker for a very short time. I still feel some of the symptoms but it goes through a lot quicker. :) It really only lasts about a minute and then I am A OK :).
However the first few times this happend I immediately notified my Neuro so she is aware of the reaction.