copaxone injexction site welts

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mystery reader
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 7/18/2007 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, I guess i should not have bragged that I wasn't having any problems with my copaxone shots.  Mu last four injections have resulted in a welt/hive  as well as some bruising on two of them.  I have been placing the shot under my arm for about 5 minutes prior to the shot and putiing heat on afterwards for about 5 to 10 minutes.  They both hurt and itch at the same time.  I've tried both benadryl and hydrocortisone cream, but does not seem to be helping much.  Shared solutions told me to try ice afterwards for a minute and play around with the depth of the injector.  I've been using an 8 everywhere. I can pinch about 2 inches everywhere but the tops of my legs.   Have called my neuro's office and am waiting for a call back.  Does anyone have anymore suggestions?
Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007


new to the club
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/18/2007 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I was just about ready to post the same question! Sorry that this isn't an answer, and only a 'me too'. But, thanks for posting.

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3518
   Posted 7/18/2007 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Barb,

I haven't had too many problems with the copaxone.  I do have some welts and some bruising but never multiple days in a row.  But I do not use the auto injector.  I never liked the thought of that thing.  If you can brave it, and it really isn't bad at all, you may want to try manual inject.  It really works quite well for me.  I just inject all the way in, which I guess would be the deepest level on the auto injector, and I usually don't have a problem.  Maybe you could have someone manual inject it for you and just see and then you can decide whether to go to the manual technique.  Good luck and hang in there.  It does get easier.

Love,


Gretchen
diagnosed: MS  July 2006
 
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. 
Anais Nin
 


Kimber
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 7/18/2007 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Barb,
 
    Another thing you could try is skipping the heat and just do the ice before and after, and try taking the benadryl like half hour before the injection and see if that helps with the itching.  As far as doing it manually, once we switched from auto to manual we had a lot less problems with the welt issue.  Good luck and let us know how it goes and what the doctor says.
 
Kimber
 
Co-moderator for Multiple Sclerosis
 
Allow Healing Well to continue to help others, clink link for details

Zoe Butterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 7/20/2007 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
i was on copaxone but was taken off but i have heard that if you can inject it manually it is easier on you-- also i found that if i avoided the sun they didn't get as itchy--
Zoe Butterfly3
MS-- Diagnosed August 2006
 
 


mp1968
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2007 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there-
 
Just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents worth - maybe it will help others.  I'm 39 and I was diagnosed in Feb. 07.  I've been on meds for 3 months now - Copaxone and Avonex in the CombiRX clinical trial.  I take both medications at "regular" doses - once a day for Copaxone and once a week for Avonex.  At first I had no problems with the Copaxone shots using the auto injector, but over time, the welts started to become more of a problem and were itchy and more red.  I called Shared Solutions - they recommended heat before and heat afterward to help alleviate the symptoms and also keeping a log of my depth of injection with respect to body part to help determine optimal depth.  I started out using 6 mm all over regardless of area, but now have switched it up a bit, particularly on those thighs (thought I had fat thighs, but I guess there is some muscle in there, eh? tongue )
 
After 1.5 months of trial and error, I've determined for me that heat is worse than nothing - so I eliminated that.  I also realized that deeper can actually be better - I use a 7 on my abs (yeah, I've got a little extra there), a 6 on my hips, and I rotate between those areas exclusively, since my thighs were not handling the shots well.  I feel around the areas and make sure there's no lumpy spot from a prior injection closer than 2 inches from the site I'm going to inject at.  That might seem obvious, but when the Shared Solutions nurse mentioned it, I took note and it sure makes sense.
 
I haven't tried icing the area before or after, mainly because I have the bee sting pain for about 5-10 minutes and then I forget about it.  The welt stays warm to the touch for about 2-3 days, and may or may not get itchy, but not severely so.
 
So glad I found this forum - it seems like a great resource for me.  Hope everyone is having a super Saturday night - I just took my Avonex shot about 2 hours ago with my Ibuprofen, and hoping for a calm aftermath.  Between the two medications, Avonex is the one that kicked my butt.  Pretty much what you've read from others - not as severe as some, certainly.  I find that if I stick religiously to the every 7 day schedule (not 8 or 9 to accomodate a summer trip (bad idea)) then I really have very minimal symptoms that are easily handled with Ibuprofen.  I'm going to post and see if others have the Avonex schedule issue as well (bad things when they deviate from the 7).
 
Cheers!
 

mystery reader
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 7/22/2007 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
To MP1968:  Just wondering if you are still getting the welts with every shot.  Thanks!
Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007


mp1968
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/22/2007 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Barb - I do still get welts with every shot - they don't bother me though. As I told my neuro when I started all this - good thing I dropped that bikini modeling job - LOL! I would say they are 1.5-2" in diameter, sometimes they stay red for a few days, and sometimes they don't.

One more thing I should mention - now that Copaxone has been shown ok to leave out for up to 30 days, I will pull out 5 shots at a time (that's how they are packaged for me in the study drugs) and leave them out of refrigeration.

How about you? Are the welts more severe than that? I would say I was itching more about a month ago, when I was doing the heat and also bruising ocassionally. It seemed to make sense that you will bruise more when you put heat on, since you're asking for more blood flow to the site, and I also think it affects the itchiness.
Marlene
Diagnosed 02/07
CombiRX participant starting 05/07


mystery reader
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 7/22/2007 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
The welts on my arms are bigger than that; about 3 inches in diameter. I have been using heat after the shot. I think I'll take a break from that and see if it helps. I'm also trying taking a claritan an hour before to see if that helps. Mine show up about 24 hours after the shot; are red, hot, a bit painful at first, and then itchy.
Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007


Etain
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/24/2007 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys!
I just started copaxone about 3 or so weeks ago, and have been getting the welts after every injection. They are about 2 in across, slightly swollen, red and itch and hurt a little. They go away after a day or two. My only problem is finding new injection sites, since i'm pretty thin, and the top of my thighs are the only spots that I can use right now. Has anyone found that they get less reaction in thier stomach vs. legs (or anywhere else)? I might start using my somach again, but i'm trying to let it heal from the betaseron injections i was on, which REALLY hurt!

But so far, copaxone is going great for me!!!!! :oD so much better than betaseron (that made me very depressed and sick-feeling all 3 years i was on it).
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