Soooo much pain!

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Copaxone

Soooo much pain!

Postby greenandchic » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:32 pm

Am I alone in this? I took my first injection on Friday and I thought I was going to die from the pain - stinging. The stinging is like being stung by a dozen bees. How about acid being poured in a open wound. Its horrible. I guess some people would its no big deal, but I guess its affects everyone differently. The pain is so bad, I get faint - which is not good since I do live alone. I'm only on day four going on five. I took a Vicodin tonight just to take my shot and I DON'T want to do that, but I feel I don't have a choice. OTC drugs haven't helped on days two and three.

Is this what I will have to deal with for the rest of my life? :cry:
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Re: Soooo much pain!

Postby NHE » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:03 am

greenandchic wrote:Am I alone in this? I took my first injection on Friday and I thought I was going to die from the pain - stinging. The stinging is like being stung by a dozen bees. How about acid being poured in a open wound. Its horrible. I guess some people would its no big deal, but I guess its affects everyone differently. The pain is so bad, I get faint - which is not good since I do live alone. I'm only on day four going on five. I took a Vicodin tonight just to take my shot and I DON'T want to do that, but I feel I don't have a choice. OTC drugs haven't helped on days two and three.

Is this what I will have to deal with for the rest of my life? :cry:


Have you read this thread? It might be helpful.

Copaxone Sting Reduction Technique
http://www.thisisms.com/ftopic-4405-0.html

In addition, other people have discussed that some of the sting may be related to the speed at which the autoinjector injects the medication and that slower manual injections were better. I can't remember if NAPAY's thread discussed this, but I thought that it was worth mentioning.

Hopefully, some members with Copaxone experience will share their experiences.

NHE
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Postby greenandchic » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:27 am

This is helpful. Thank you so much. I will try manually since I will do my thigh tomorrow and don't have much of anything I can grab there (from weight training) and don't want to end up hitting a muscle.
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:25 am

Hi Green
sorry to hear the stinging is so bad. I used to feel that on Rebif, but not on Copaxone. I used to use a local anaesthetic cream called 'Emla' (that is the trade name of it in Europe, it might be different in the US) that you put a small blob of it on the area to inject, covered it with a special plaster for 30 minutes and then wiped it off just prior to the injection. It definitely did help a bit. There are some local anaethetic sprays availalbe too but you'll probably need to check with Copaxone regarding their suitability to use prior to injections.

The other thing that stands out from your post is mentioning you don't have much body fat. That definitely makes the injections more difficult. I developed very extensive lipoatrophy (indented skin areas) from injecting into my legs because I too am quite slim. I actually have had to put on half a stone :( to keep injecting because my legs became too challenging to do.
Copaxone advise that if you cannot pinch 1-2 inches of body fat up in an area you should not inject into that area. I wish I'd known this when I started Copaxone, it might have saved some areas from lipoatrophy.

Can you get the injection nurse out to you to advise on the areas to use because you're slim?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby Stabilo » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:21 pm

Hey Green,

I started on Copaxone nearly 10 weeks ago now, and I actually didn't find it to be too awful, but like you said everyone is different. I have manually injected since day 1, as the autoject scared the heck out of me. I find it to be easier knowing that I have the control of how fast both the needle and the drug go in. I stick the needle in quick but the drugs in slow and it seems to tone down the stinging. It's more so the itching that drives me crazy these days. One of the first times I injected my thigh I hit a muscle and boy was it painful!!! I talked to Shared Solutions about it as I was scared after that to do it again. My Shared Solutions nurse told me that due to the amount of muscle in my thighs I could try injecting at a 45 degree angle to avoid hitting again. Ever since I have been doing it at an angle and it has helped tremendously. Good Luck with Copaxone :)
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
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Postby greenandchic » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:20 am

@Wonderfulworld - I wonder if the cream would help. I dont actually feel the needle, its the actually medicine going into that part of my body that's painful, but I guess it wont hurt to try anyway! I'm not actually that slim - just muscular/fit. Injecting in my stomach feels best so far, but I know I cant do that daily. I will try my thigh manually tomorrow and see how that feels. I'm afraid because I cant grab that much skin to even inject into. I guess being able to leg press 200 lbs isnt doing me that much good that this point, LOL :roll:

@Stabilo - I will try it manually, I just have to get over the fear it of! I have to do my thigh tomorrow and will do it at a 45 degree angle for sure. Thanks for the tip!
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:43 pm

@Wonderfulworld - I wonder if the cream would help. I dont actually feel the needle, its the actually medicine going into that part of my body that's painful, but I guess it wont hurt to try anyway! I'm not actually that slim - just muscular/fit.

Hi again Green, I should have said I too was muscular a few years ago as I used to work out a lot before I had my son. It was then that I had the greatest increase in lipoatrophy on my legs. Even injecting into my legs at an angle caused a problem. The support nurse said you have to be able to pinch 1-2 inches of body fat to inject into an area without damaging it. I know I didn't have that on my legs when I was working out a lot.

I agree if the Copaxone going in is the sore thing, then maybe Emla will not help, as it really just is a surface anaesthetic. Hope it gets easier for you :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby Bender » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:06 pm

I was having really bad stinging the first few days but find it's less if I use an ice pack for a bit afterwards. Although I'll admit even after a few minutes with the icepad I was unable to lay on the side I injected last night so I don't know how much this'll help.
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Postby greenandchic » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:42 pm

I do use ice for about 15 minutes following the injection. I'm in my second month and its still very painful. I've spoken with the Copaxone nurse, and SS several times to troubleshoot and the conclusion that it is very painful for some people. I just happen to be one of them. It can take months for it to go away, or it may always be painful. Time will tell.
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Re: Soooo much pain!

Postby heartsandskulls » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:27 am

Emla is available by prescription only. It's fairly expensive and there is actually an over the counter version that works much better. It's used in the tattooing industry and is significantly less expensive than emla.

http://shop.bme.com/product/super_t_gel/

You put a little on and cover it with cling wrap for a little bit. A little goes a long way. Most doctors probably won't write you a prescription for it as its a topical anesthetic but the Super T is made and manufactured in the US and like I said, doesn't require a prescription.
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Re: Soooo much pain!

Postby Froggie » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:22 am

I was on Copaxone for nine months and always got terrible hives at the injection site. I was using cortisone daily to help with the intense itching, though it didn't do much good. The only pain I used to have was in my thighs. For me, there is no good place on them to inject! I'm now on Rebif and my husband has been doing manual injections, which has lessened any discomfort I used to have. There is much more control with the speed of the injection, though the auto inject for the Copaxone was much more gentle than the one I have for the Rebif. I also take about 400 to 600 mg of Ibuprofen about a half hour before injection, which seems to help.
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