Copaxone site reactions

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els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 8/8/2007 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
It has been quite some time since I posted here on the MS forum, there are quite a few new people here :-) .  Anyhow, I have had MS for 6 years and am currently taking Copaxone (2 yrs).  I first was on Avonex when I was diagnosed but I couldnt handle the side effects from it so I have an aversion to the interferon's.
 
I read a few threads on here and some were talking of site reactions when it comes to Copaxone.  I have this problem terrible.  My injection site is okay right afterwards but within an hour or so it will swell to a huge knot and be so painful which takes days for it to go down.  Then I end up with these lumps that dont go away.  Just as I still have lumps in my muscles from the Avonex injections.  I saw that one said they were told to take benadryl but I am allergic...I know that is weird but true.  And prednisone I dont react to well either.  Does anyone have more information on this?
 
Thank you

Elisha
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Kimber
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   Posted 8/8/2007 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Els!
 
    It's so good to hear from you again.  Allergic to benadryl hmmm, well I have heard of the use of Zyrtec or Claritin too, maybe you could try one of those?  I'm sure after two years you've tried playing with the depth.  Have you tried both ways of injecting to see if one is better?  We have much better luck with manual injections not giving the welts as bad but everyone is different.  One other thing that comes to mind is the alcohol swabs, have you tried using witch hazel instead? Or just antibacterial soap and water? 
 
    I'm sure some others will be along soon to offer some more suggestions. 
 
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mystery reader
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 8/9/2007 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   

I was actually discouraged to read your post.  Have you had the problem for the entire 2 years you have been on copaxone?  How do you find places to inject?  

Have taken the prednisone for  2 days (which I really dislike; not sleeping), and I have not had another IPIR (knock on wood), but still have experienced huge welts.  They come immediately after injecting the med, disappear after an hour and then reappear the next day. I think when I had my second IPIR I injected into a vein -- had more bleeding and now an ugly bruise.  The welts are about 3 inches long.  They hurt for a few days, then itch, and then fade into bruises which are taking forever to go away.  I also have lumps under each site which seem to be gradually shrinking. 

I have tried manual injection (bigger welts), claritan, benadryl, adjusting the depth, ice and heatt, heat and ice...  I am currenly using witch hazel (tucks wipes) instead of the alcohol wipes.

I have only been on this for 6 weeks.  One nurse at Shared Solutions told me that for many people the problem gets better after 3 months; another told me 5-6 months.

Have you talked to your doctor?


Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 8/11/2007 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Kimber, It is so good to hear from you!  Yep, the benedryl has been an issue since I was a child.  I never thought of trying zyrtec or claritin, thank you for the ideas.  I have played with the depth and found that 6 is best for me and yeah eyes I still use the injector because I am too chicken yet to try manual.  My mom is a nurse thou so I could see if it is better if she gives it manually.  I will give that a try tonight and forgo the alchol pad too.  Anything to get rid of these whelps.  Thank you so much for the suggestions your always so sweet

Mystery reader, Dont get discouraged at all.  I havent had these problems for the entire 2 years.  Copaxone is a wonderful medication with the least side effects.  I havent tried prednisone for this purpose though I have had it in the dose pak after IV treatments and I now refuse to do steriod treatments or take prednisone because it is such a nasty medication.  It can help for many people but me I didnt react well to it.

I havent talked to my neuro about this, my next appointment is a few months away.  Our relationship has pretty much just gone into the phase of him refilling my meds and thats it.  I like him but I think with my MS being in seconday phase and me having a pacemaker there's just not too much for him to do. 

I will let you know if the injection changes work....I'm crossing my fingers!! tongue


Elisha
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rhondab
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   Posted 8/11/2007 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Els!

Good to see u here again!! I'm not dx'd and don't use any injection meds, but my daughter has eczema and uses Atarax for the itching and swelling. It works wonderfully! Maybe check with u'r docs about this med and give it a try. I'm told this is a med that's much like benedryl in the way it responds, but like a suped up version. For that reason, be sure u check with u'r doc. Take good care and i hope this or some of the other meds suggested will bring u some relief!
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/11/2007 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you Rhonda, it is good to see you too!  I just wrote down your suggestion so I can call my PCP on Monday and ask about it.  It is wonderful to know there are some options available, for a while now I have just thought this was normal and I would have to deal with it.  The lumps take weeks to go away (some havent) and are about the size of a golf ball. 

On a side note my mom doesnt is afraid to give me the shot manually, she thinks she might hit the muscle that way.  I am worried there may be a problem with the injector?  I dont know...I may try it on a differant level tonight and see how it goes.

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions and being so kind ;)


Elisha
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Kimber
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 8/12/2007 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again els,
 
   Shared Solutions is good at replacing those injectors.  If you think it is malfunctioning, maybe you can give them a call.  When we first started the manual injections I was concerned about not being able to pinch enough skin.  One of the nurses told me you can also inject at a 45 degree angle instead of 90.  We do that in a few of the spots now and it works wonderfully.  Good luck and I hope things improve for you.
 
 
Kimber
 
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els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/13/2007 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Kimber, it was kinda funny cause when my mom said she was leery of giving it manually I looked at the setting I had my injector on and it was set above 8.  I weight 137 right now and have been exercising everyday at the gym and gaining muscle tone I didnt have before.  I really think the depth was too much and most likely was getting it in the muscle.  I put it down to like 5 or so and ditched the alcohol pads too, my last two injections went so much better and didnt swell up or irritate me near as much as usual.

Shared Solutions are really good about replacing the injectors, I am on my 4th one now.  Thank you everyone for the excellent advice and suggestions.


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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MSBLESSED
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 70
   Posted Yesterday 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Elisha,

I haven't posted here in a while, but saw your posting and just had to drop a line. First of all, good for you going to the gym everyday!! AWESOME!! Next, I'm glad to hear that your injections are going better. I started my Copaxone injections on Jan 3, 2007 and had the same issues you are experiencing. I'm not allergic to Benedryl but it doesn't work well for me. I have VERY sensitive skin, so I have to be very selective when putting ANYTHING on it. The Atarax is wonderful for the itching. I used it for the first few months, but now I use ice like crazy. The lumps are still there for a few days, but don't last as long as they used to. One of the Shared Solutions nurses told me to rub the injection site (even though it's still kinda sore) the next couple of days to help the lumps go down. It works for me. Some places react more than others. I LOVE my stomach!! It's almost pain and bruise free!! LOL! With my skin being so sensitive I've come to expect the itching the following day, but try not to scratch! I know you are probably thinking "Yeah right!" but try. Ice, ice, and more ice! I also do my shots right before bedtime so I don't have as many symptoms after. Also, the following day I try to wear clothing that doesn't rub my injection site. I hope this information is useful to you. It's going on 8 months for me and even with sensitive skin, I'm hanging in there. It does get better!! Ohh yean, I'm also too chicken to do the manual injections! It's the Autoject2 all the way!!!

littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/25/2007 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Wait a sec....I thought the needle was short enough so that it didn't go into the muscle. I didn't actually think there was a chance of this happening. I can't do manual injections, and I have my auto injector at the deepest depth setting. I get hardly any bumps or welts anymore by doing this....but I wonder if maybe I am going too deep. Even though they don't swell up any more, they hurt more.

Oi, I just don't know. I have told the Shared Solutions nurses where I have my depth at, and they say that's fine. But I get a different answer from every nurse I talk to there about everything. One nurse says such and such is fine, another says oh no it's not. So I'm all kinds of confused.

The pain I get with injections at the highest depth is tolerable and, in my opinion, preferable to the mini heads growing out of my leg or hip...so maybe I just shouldn't worry about it. I just don't know if getting it into the muscle is harmful in anyway or if it just hurts.
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