The good news is that since copaxone is not an interferon, you won't get any flu-like symptoms. The only symptom you get is an itchy or slightly painful lump. That lump goes away after about a week, but since you have to inject everyday, you get to be pretty lumpy lol. They tell you to rotate your shots. I do my right thigh, then my left thigh, then my tummy then my left hip, my left arm, then my right arm and then my right hip and back again. By the time I get around to my right thigh again, the old lump is usually gone. I do feel around for a good smooth place to inject.
The IPIR is the "immediate post-injection reaction. It feels like you are having a really bad asthma/anxiety/heart attack. I have had it a couple of times. Many don't ever get it. My experience has been that immediately after injecting I flush and get chest pressure. I have never had pain (some claim to have chest pain). It feels a bit like some one is sitting on your chest. For me, it lasts about 15 minutes total. Then I go back to feeling just fine. I had heard all about the IPIR from the copaxone nurses so when it happened, I was not frightened but rather uncomfortable. I told my husband who enjoyed telling me how red I was. He sat with me until I was feeling better.
There is a bit of local pain from the shot. The injection itself is quite painless but it burns like a bee sting about three minutes after. I can't tell if you get used to that feeling or if as a side effect it goes away. But it did seem like about a month went by before I was used to that.
Gretchen co-moderator MS board diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.