When you have been properly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you’re ready to work with your doctor to decide what your plan of Therapy is going to be. I was diagnosed with Relapsing/Remitting type of MS . Over the years I have advanced to secondary progressive. I am able to walk with a walker, drive, talk without slurred speech and my vision is not impaired.
When you are diagnosed with this disease, there will be several therapies for you to choose from. I started with Avonex because it was only one immunization per week and I hate shots. Unfortunately my body didn’t respond well to Avonex so I changed to Copaxone. Even though there is a shot every day, Copaxone has the least side effects.
Injection site irritation is the main side effect. If the shot is not administered properly lipoatrophy occurs.
Things You’ll Need:
- Copaxone injections
- Hot/Cold Pack
- Alcohol swabs (after the recall is removed)
- Container to throw away used needles
How to Inject Yourself with Copaxone
Your doctor or Shared Solutions (Copaxone’s support network) will offer a training to administer this injection with the AutoJect. The first nurse gave me important information, but not enough. She provided me with a Daily Planner with illustrated instructions to help you schedule injection points. What she didn’t tell me was how to get the AutoJect to the arm. I made a movie to illustrate how easy it is and you can see it here.
I’ll tell you how I administered the injection every night to my body.
It’s important to memorize locations of the immunizations by the days of the week so that it’s easy to keep track of where to immunize.
Each night inject yourself, going to the designated injection site. The injections will be administered like this every evening, until all your body parts have been injected.
With the auto injector in two pieces, place the syringe with the gray top down into the bottom of the auto injector until you hear it click.
Turn the blue screw to the number best suited for your body. I’m a thin person, so the nurse suggested I set my screw to between the 4 and 6 (obviously 5, but it is not written.)
If you don’t know the number to set your autoject on, ask your doctor or call Shared Solutions 1-800-887-81001-800-887-8100 and ask them.
With the auto injector still in two pieces, insert the half with the red screw facing down into the other half on top of the yellow pressing down until it clicks to set the spring.
Next, put the two pieces together. Then take the gray cover off the needle by taking off the red screw. To take off the red screw, hold on to the bottom of the auto injector while firmly pulling up on the red screw and turning the red screw over as the gray syringe top falls out.
Now, open an alcohol swab and rub the swab on the body part and let dry before injecting yourself.
Finally, with the red screw pulled off the auto injector, place the injector on the body part where the injection will go. Right here, I am putting the auto injector into my right leg to show you what it looks like injecting the syringe into my skin.
With the auto injector removed from your body, turn the auto injector over into a plastic container for safe syringe removal.
If the site is bleeding, place a small band-aid on the area where the syringe was injected. Never rub a cotton swab on area where injection was administered. You may see a bump appear after the injection as this is one of the side effects.
Repeat these steps every day or night on a different body part. With all these steps completed, injecting yourself should be easy. The pre-filled syringes and the AutoJect makes giving yourself shots doable because you do not have to see yourself sticking the syringe into your skin. It is nice and clean.
Have you used Copaxone? Was it before the prefilled syringes? Tell me about your experiences with Copaxone in the comments below.