Copaxone 101

first of all…clearly, I need a WordPress lesson.  still can’t figure out how my last post ended up as its own tab! 

another day I’ll sort that out.

so let’s talk about my meds.

Name:  Copaxone

Dosage:  one daily subcutaneous injection

Initial reaction:  it is genius

I’m three shots in, and my body map is slowly expanding as I track my injection sites.  To prevent skin damage (lipoatrophy and skin necrosis – yuck!), I have to keep a clear map of where I have already injected.  I don’t want to hit the same place for at least three weeks in my arms, and eight weeks for my hips (more room there, obviously!).

today will be my left thigh. tomorrow, right thigh.  Tuesday, stomach (ouch!).  Wednesday, left arm.  fascinating, eh?

from my recent research, Copaxone is a protein immuno-modulator and works in the following manner:

the proteins attach to my brain cells – yeah!

my white blood cells, which are currently attacking my brain – are now supposed to be more attracted to the proteins supplied by my new friend, Copaxone.

that’s it.

huh.  I love this idea.  it’s genius!  oh wait, already said that.  it just makes sense.  instead of my WBCs picking on the useful parts of my brain, the protein is a stand-in.

(my doctor-doctor cousin is probably groaning at this un-scientific explanation.)  😉

two weeks to break the blood-brain barrier.

I hope it works.  only time will tell.  group finger-cross please!  the nurse said that I should start to see a small improvement in my current symptoms once it breaks the b/b barrier.

what it’s supposed to do long term:  reduce the frequency of relapses and reduce the length of time involved for each relapse.

the only side-effects I have experienced:  intense stinging for 20 mins post injection and a red welt, which disappears in about an hour.  plus the injection spot is tender until the next morning.  but that’s IT!

I’ll take IT.

definitely doing better on the emotional front now that I’m actually doing something to help my body.  writing helps.  I don’t do so well with the talking out loud all the time.  oh, the other plus>>this is the one drug that doesn’t have depression as a side-effect!

PS.  got back on the bike yesterday.  and that felt so good!  my legs were a buzz for hours after…and we only did four miles off road… but it’s a start!  I want to keep my legs moving.  no MS ride for me this year.  but there’s next year.  my uncle is doing 100 miles!!  wowzer!


6 thoughts on “Copaxone 101

  1. You go girl!!:) you are doing great and keeping active will only benefit both your body and mind even though at times your body may make you feel like you can’t…… me you can and you will soon be able to judge how much you can push yourself during a workout/physical activity without your body telling you in some type of MS sign language that you may have pushed yourself too far! Go Erin!!:) xo

  2. Hi Erin,

    Congrats on getting started with your drug of choice. I took Copaxone for four years. I just wanted to let you know one little thing though. None of Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, Extavia, or Copaxone are immuno-suppressants. They are all immuno-modulators.

    Drugs which are immunosuppressants, and used only in tougher MS cases, include Cytoxan, Methotrexate, Imuran, and Novantrone.

    I read the information on Copaxone’s website regarding the Immune System and MS. I believe that it is purposefully confusing, which is unfortunate.

    I hope that it is going with you.

    Lisa Emrich

    • You are so right, Lisa. Thank you for the correction – I appreciate it! I will fix my post. This is all still so new. Copaxone is going…post injection sting is tolerable and certain body parts seem to be more sensitive…new normal takes some time to get used to that’s for sure.

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