Arm Injections with Copaxone

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littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/30/2007 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay...I've been on Copaxone for 7 months now and I've been too chicken to try my arms. One of the first nurses I talked to scared the crap out of me, she told me how some girls have just been in tears over the pain from injecting into the arms. Yikes! Thanks for filling me with confidence lady!

Anyway, she told me that despite what the literature says I really don't have to inject into my arms. Well, that was good enough for me. Since then, however, I have spoken with several Shared Solutions nurses who (despite the varying answers about other topics) have all said that I really do need to be injecting in my arms. They explained about lipoatrophy and that helped me understand better and convinced me that they were probably right.

So...who injects in their arms and who can give me some tips? I definitely plan on having my hubby help me at first, since the arms seem kinda awkward. But anyone who's had reasonably good success...I'd appreciate some input.

Thanks guys!

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 8/31/2007 3:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't help because I don't inject Copaxone. But I know the same warning is part of the Betaseron literature -- but I've always just injected into my belly without any adverse effects. I tried my arms and all the other areas that they recommend, and for a variety of reasons, couldn't/won't inject there. So it's my belly or occasionally upper thighs, for at least the last 10 years now...
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


mystery reader
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 8/31/2007 7:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I do inject in my arms, and it does sometimes hurt there more than other places. But I am actually having more problems with my hips. I use the autoinjector and usually have it on an eight. I place my arm across my chest. The I try to inject it sort of from below. If I angle the injector for the side, I am more likely to hit muscle. I have been doing my stomach 2x a week and skipping one of my arms or hips in the rotation. I am still getting welts and lumps everywhere. I'm not sure if this helps. You could always ask for retraining.
Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007


DeeBeeMee
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/31/2007 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been using Copaxone for years. about a year or two ago I stopped using my arms. Now I inject in my thighs, hips and belly. No problems, no lipoatrophy.

If you do want to try shooting into your arms, try this: 'drape' the fatty upper arm over the back of a chair so that you can get a better look at what you're doing. Be sure to hit the fat, not the muscle. If you get the muscle you'll feel sore and your arm might feel heavy and achy until the med dissipates thoroughly.
Dee

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

Post Edited (DeeBeeMee) : 8/31/2007 7:44:59 AM (GMT-6)


littlechina
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/31/2007 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey thanks guys. Yeah, I've been doing my hips, thighs and tummy now...rotating to a new area 5 times a week. I don't want to do my arms, mostly because my arms are visible. The nurses just freaked me on the lipoatrophy. There is one spot on my leg that I favored a lot when I first started and now there is a hard spot under the skin that hasn't gone away. It's small, but I can feel it. I avoid that area when injecting, but I don't know if that's what they are talking about or if I'm just being paranoid.

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 8/31/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
littlechina said...
Hey thanks guys. Yeah, I've been doing my hips, thighs and tummy now...rotating to a new area 5 times a week. I don't want to do my arms, mostly because my arms are visible. The nurses just freaked me on the lipoatrophy. There is one spot on my leg that I favored a lot when I first started and now there is a hard spot under the skin that hasn't gone away. It's small, but I can feel it. I avoid that area when injecting, but I don't know if that's what they are talking about or if I'm just being paranoid.
When I did a google search on lipoatrophy, what I mostly came up with is something related to your face, and people with HIV, and AIDS.  So I'm not sure what the nurse is talking about. I know that sometimes folks will get a sort of sunken area if they inject repeatedly in the same spot. Maybe that's what she means?
 
Obviously you need to avoid any area that is sore, or if you feel a hard spot like you have, avoid that. I have scar tissue on my belly from a gall bladder surgery, so I avoid that area too. And be careful to not inject in the same place (like you must have, and then noticed that hard spot!), or any place that might be irritated by clothing, as the rubbing can cause a problem.  But otherwise, I don't really think you'll have a problem injecting in the areas that you're using, and continue to rotate sites.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Sunnycitrus
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 8/31/2007 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   

If you do decide to try an arm injection, you might start out injecting pretty close to your armpit (in that outer arm fatty area Shared Solutions suggests, just at the upper limit). I no longer take Copaxone, but for me the closer my injection site was to my elbow, the more it hurt.  My injections right below my armpit were among the least painful of my entire rotation (yes, I am weird I know…lol), and also did not tend to lead to much of a noticeable site reaction. The injections just a little bit lower on my arms did tend to be more painful and the site reactions more visible, but still manageable.

Good luck!

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