Copaxone or Tecfidera

I’m 45 and have just last month been diagnosed with ms.
I started on copaxone just over a week ago but I’m wondering about switching to tecfidera as I am really skinny and have virtually no body fat so the injections have not been fun… My leg last was really painful with muscle cramps even though it was only on 4mm. Also when doing my stomach I had a lump like half a tennis ball sticking out for 12 hours and pain for a few days.
I chose copaxone as I was told there were fewer side effects but now I’m really not sold.
Any advice would be great.

I take tecfidera and despite having to battle through some side effects at first (for about 3 months) I now only get mild side effects and not every day. So overall I’m pleased with it. My neuro recommended it over copaxone as he said he has little doubt it’s more effective, but I could have had copaxone and sometimes wonder if I should have as I think it’s more effective long term than is generally reported. I decided to go with the advice of my neuro though as figured he would have more experience of people taking both drugs. I think most people on tec have few or no side effects once their body adjusts to the medication, but obviously it comes with higher risks than copaxone.
Hope some of that was helpful!
Charlotte xx

Hi Charlotte
Thank you for your reply that’s really helpful I didn’t get any advice in terms of what is more effective just that copaxone generally has less side effects. Although the whole you’ve got ms, what drugs do you want, next patient please was all I really got from the neurologist. When I was given the copaxone training I was told that you are aiming to inject though your skin into your fat cells where your body can absorb it slowly and its not so nice if it goes into a blood vessel, too deep into a muscle or too shallow and into your skin. At which point a laughed wondering at how I could manage to find some fat to inject into! I don’t want to put anyone off and in practice above my hips (where there is just about an inch to pinch) are totally fine and it didn’t bother me at all but you can’t just do one area you have to rotate injection points. Stomach was uncomfortable but okay, leg painful muscle spasms, arms I’ve not tried but really not looking forward to.

Could you alternate one side to another? How long do you need to leave a site before you can inject it again?

Your not supposed to revisit an area for 8 injections or it will likely cause dimples which can be quite large if you only do the same spot but I can see why people do

Hi, ive been on Tecfidera for nearly 3.5 years and have no side effects at all, or relapses in past 4 years. MRI’s all clear too. I had mild flushing way back when i started but that disappeared after a few weeks. Taken twice a day with food or a thick smoothy I’d highly recommend them to anyone. Bloods every 3 months, so pretty safe, there are some serious side effects but they are vanishingly rare. Good luck.

Hi, thanks for your reply. I didn’t choose tecfidera originally as my neurologist mentioned gastric side effects so its good to hear you you’ve not problems.

Slightly off topic but I was wondering does anyone feel any different after taking the DM drugs? I don’t know if its the copaxone, my healthier diet (trying the OMS diet), the high dose vitamin d, the physio, or just that I’m not physically working as hard but I’ve felt a lot less of the ‘tingles’ recently and with so much change its impossible to know what’s helping. My ms nurse did say the copaxone wouldn’t make the symptoms feel any different but something has changed for the better

Copaxone is a combination of four amino acids that may be given to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults. It has been shown to significantly Both Tecfidera and Copaxone are effective for treating MS. The effectiveness of these drugs hasn’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, according to one analysis, Tecfidera may be more effective than Copaxone for preventing relapse and slowing worsening of disability

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I used copaxone for about 7 yrs then I suddenly got a few nasty ‘flushes’ so decided to stop altogether! Most people i’ve spoken to who use it have had virtually no probs at all, as i didn’t for a long time. I sometimes think i may have been a bit hasty with giving it up and have def felt i’m not taken as seriously by my neuro anymore!! I know what you mean about the pain though, i found the bum was the best place where there’s at least the biggest chance of enough fat 2 grab :wink:


I got offered Tecfidera when I was diagnosed last year but unfortunately the side effects for me were really bad. I had stomach cramps all the time to the point I couldnt move. I had sickness and diarrhoea to :frowning: the flushing wasnt to bad I could cope with that it was the the tummy issues that were a pain for me…
They did give me at tablet to take before my meals but unfortunately it didn’t help.
I have been on no medication since December as still waiting to start Copaxone.

Hope you find something that helps you.

Thanks for all the feedback. It makes me realise I’ve been quite lucky getting the meds so quickly. Also the support I’ve had from my ms nurse was really good.
I seem to have settled into the injections now and my other leg was a bit sore but no so bad. So I’m going to stick with it. I guess it a case of just getting used to it and finding the best injection depths to use, I really need to keep a diary to remind me!