Avonex verses Copaxone???

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Lookn4clues
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/6/2012 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
What are your thoughts/ experiences?

Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3565
   Posted 1/6/2012 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Avonex is an IM injection done once a week. It is an interferon. It's side effects are flu like symptoms for several hours after injecting. Copaxone is a sub-q injection done daily. It's side effects are localized: pain, itching, a lump. Copaxone can cause an IPIR (instant post injection reaction). It's a bit like anaphylactic shock in sensation but it is something that reverses itself after 15 minutes or so.

Both meds are to slow disease progression by approximately 40% at best. Have you been diagnosed with MS?
Diagnosed with MS July 2006

I have no lesions on my soul and so I live with no limits.

Beau2006
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 389
   Posted 1/7/2012 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi there and good morning...yes Gretchen I am back at least for awhile....I liked your response,except for the comment made regarding the information that copaxone reduces the progression of MS by only 40 percent.  Its a bit beyond this.  And ther are many other benefits of Copaxone other than slowing down progression.

I know that u are not a real fan of copaxone, but I for one am, so have to bring forward the positives....

If you are talking early treatment of MS before the actual dx of MS is made, then you are correct by saying that copaxone will reduced the risk of progression by 40 percent.  There are some indications that this might for some reach 80 per cent.
 
But for people who have been dx with MS, and are on copaxone, the 15 year stats are a bit different.  These stats are based on RRMS patients. 
 
  • 80 per cent of MS patients are still walking after the 15 years of being on copaxone,without any assistance and the same 80 per cent did not even in any way decline in disability...in fact 51 per cent of these people actually improved during the 15 year study.
  • Copaxone reduced the number of lesions in patients by 63 percent, from the number that were detected during the initial dx.
  • Copaxone repairs nerve damaged tissue
  • Copaxone assists in the reduction of fatigue
  • Copaxone has also been noted to assist the body in remylination and improvement in neuroprotectiveness
  • Copaxone assists in the reduction of brain volume loss
  • Copaxone reduces the number of relapses

There are lot of other stats that are available, but this gives a pretty good picture of what Copaxone can do for u...

 

Thanks and have a nice day

Gary


Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3565
   Posted 1/7/2012 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Gary,

I'm not sure why you'd say I'm not a fan. I've used copaxone for 5 and a half years now. The 40% stat is one published by copaxone. My only real complaint is the phenomenal cost! It's working for me. Of course it's only slowing down progression. I am well aware that Copaxone is not a cure.

Lookn4clues
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/13/2012 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Ive been diagnosed for a month now. I started Avonex yesterday. No flu like symptoms (though I only had half dose), no pain, didnt even feel the needle.

The hardest part was setting up the shot.

Misha002
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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/27/2012 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
After over 5 year on Avonex, I switched to Copaxone 8 months ago. I just couldn’t handle having flue like symptoms anymore. For most people on Avonex flue like symptoms end in less then 6 months, but not for me. Copaxone works better for me, I’m able to rotate between all 7 recommended injection sites. I use my Android app – MedNotesPlus to keep track of my injection areas.

Lookn4clues
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 6/6/2012 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm back to comment after 5 months on Avonex. All is good and no complaints. I hate giving myself the shot, but I can deal with it one time a week. The flu like symptoms (achiness) would last about one day after I did the shot, and that only lasted about a month total. I dont experience that anymore. My symptoms have decreased by about 85%, so Im pleased.

Tranquilrain
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 6/6/2012 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I really can't add to much into this, neither one did me any good. My neuro. took my off Rebif also because my body couldn't handle the interferon. :-(

aquariusgirl
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/18/2012 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hi All,
I've been on Avenox for about 1 month.  I didn't notice any lasting flu symptoms, I didn't even feel the needles with the pen or without.  Probably because I was on Rebif for 10 yrs.  You get used to a thing.  I don't have any experience with copaxion.  Seemed like a awful lot of shots but if it works it works.  Best to all tongue

nikki1980
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/20/2012 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on copaxone for 6 months now, and been doing good with it. At first I was upset about the daily injection, but its really not bad at all. Beats flu-like symptoms, in my opinion. Only takes 30 seconds to do it each day, and its a part of my daily routine now. I went to an ms support group and they were all on avonex, some for 7 and 8 years, and were doing good with that, too. One guy had been on avonex 8 years and hadn't had a relapse in all that time. But he did suffer the flu-like stuff. My doctor said one of the reasons she put me on copaxone was because the interferons had those side effects that could really put a person out a couple days a week. Everyone is different, and I know its a trial-and-error process with these ms drugs.

alter
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/10/2012 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
Avonex has been shown to delay progression, copaxone has not.  That said, several large studies have not been able to show any long term benefit from either Interferons or Copaxone.  You can go to their websites and read there.
 
What they are are good at doing is reducing the number of exacerbations and MRI activity. The 30% figure often quoted is a reduction in exacerbations, not progression.  To that end, they are all similar, with copaxone possibly slightly better than Avonex.
 
Finally, you may respond to one and not the other and you need to try one first to see.  Since Copaxone has far fewer side effects on the body, it's a good first choice.  You don't need to worry about your liver or thyroid, which can be affected by Interferon (Avonex, Rebif and Extavia).  Those flu-like symptoms mean you will feel terrible after you take a shot, so it's also another reason to try copaxone first.
 
As for the high cost? That's a problem for your insurance company.  Both pharmaceutical companies offer a copay reduction plan where you pay very little. 
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