Hi there and good morning. I have been on Copaxone for 16 months. I have had great success with this drug, but everyone will of course have various results. With me, now at 16 months, my symptoms are much less noticeable then they were before. about the only time that I do notice my symptoms - is when I become fatigued, and when I over heat.
Copaxone takes longer for it to kick in then the other therapies, but there really are no side effects, ie...upset stomach, flu like symptoms....however some have experienced some anxiety right after injection, heart palps, etc....but I have not yet experienced this. The only thing that I do get is site reactions, ie...lumps, bumps, redness, etc, but they do go away soon.
I use both the auto injector, for behind my arms, but for the other locations I self inject. The reason is that I find that I just don't seem to do it correctly all the time with the auto injector, causing more pain then normal....and with the injector, I tend to inject too deep and hit a muscle, which is not pleasant afterwards....however again this is likely due to me being too rammy, and not taking the time to do it properly.
As mentioned before, copaxone takes time to see results.....I started in December of 2007, and it was not until fall of 2008 that I really did start to see results. Now 6 months later, I feel pretty darn good. My last MRI seen an improvement in the number of lesions that I have, so this is a good thing.
Secret to some of my success is not missing shots. I have not missed one since I started...my neurologist agreed that this is all part of the success of this drug. He told me that he has one patient that is on Copaxone who claims that it is not working for her - however in her next breath, said that she went on holidays for 4 weeks, and did not take the Copaxone as it was too much of a hassle...Mmmmm?
Remember that there is a wonderful support group that comes with Copaxone, called Shared Solutions. I have an assigned case worker who contacts me every month to see how I am doing, and to answer any questions that I might have. They also send out publications and readable material, that has been very informative about Copaxone and MS in general. You don't have to worry about how to contact them upon treatment, they will contact you.
Copaxone has been around now for 10 years....so with that, there is lots of data and results now available for reading. Now on a generalized survey and test results.....one of which I found to be quite interesting and encouraging....a recent ten year study that I read indicated 92 percent of people with RRMS who remained on Copaxone were still walking without assistance even though they had the disease for an average of 15 years. After the 10 years of treatment, no significant changes were seen in the test group. Now of course this does not apply for everyone, as everyone will react differently to the treament, but having said that, these are pretty positive results, and for me, very encouraging. As for me, I have not seen any decline since I started Copaxone, in fact the very opposite, I have noticed a markable improvement. Remember too, that a good positive attitude, together with a good diet and exersise is essential for this whole package to work.
So I hope that I have been able to answer some of your questions, and if u have more, fire away. More than glad to help
Have a nice day,