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Copaxone - Site reactions on people with no fat!

I saw my neurologist today to talk about changing the drug i am on. I was taking Betaferon (up until today) and after 9 months the side effects were still so severe that my day to day life was pretty unbearable. The flu symptoms were almost constant and i have been quite depressed and just feeling a little nuts really. Also, i am very thin and have little to no fat anywhere so the site reactions were not great as i could only inject my backside which means i had to sleep in awkward positions in order to not disturb the painful areas. I have now been told to have a ‘drug holiday’ and wait for my MS nurse to contact me about starting on Copaxone in roughly six weeks. I was pretty much told that Copaxone was side effect free and all my problems would vanish but after i came home and looked it up on the internet (yes i really should have done this before but to be honest my MS nurse had been talking about the new oral drug being an opion for me and i’d perhaps lead myself to believe i could succesfully apply for this, yeah, i know!) and it seems that it is not a great option for people with no body fat as the site reactions can be quite severe and i have read in many places that you should have some fat to pinch. ANYWAY i just wondered if any skinny folks out there have been taking Copaxone and have been okay with it? Or if anyone has any general advice on injecting Copaxone. Also i am a little scared about my ‘drug holiday’ as i am now thinking i’m probably going to have a relapse at any minute. Yes i think i am a little paranoid but after spending a day in the MS ward in a hospital all this stuff is very much on my mind… Any thoughts on the above ramblings would be very much appreciated. Kate

hi I’m waiting on my copaxone to be delivered, I’m the same as yourself, I cannot pinch my skin up to inject, I have been watching videos on U-tube to see how people inject if the cannot pinch the skin, might be an idea if you watch the clips Al x

Kate, I’ve found the nurses that come with copaxone are realy helpful, they will be able to give you a lot of advice & support. I can’t help with the skinny thing as I am not :!: I found it much easier to inject manually - I found the autoject too abrupt and prone to bruise me! You have to be quite atentive to rotating sites as the skin can become red and itchy after injection - if that happens ask your GP to prescribe some antihystamines until the body gets used to the jabs. I find copaxone suits me well and have had no problems with it in the 9 months I have been on it. Clarexxx

Copaxone site reactions are often described as being a result of lipoatrophy. Lipoatrophy is loss of fat cells and it sounds as though you don’t have many to lose to start with, so this is defo something to ask your nurse about. On the bright side, you won’t be the first person to be facing this problem and asking this question. Sorry this is a bit of an unhelpful reply - and good luck with whichever treatment you go with. Lolli xx

Hey, I’ve been using copaxone daily for about 3 months and I am clinically underweight too… This is partly due to the fact I am coeliac so cannot eat gluten - my body is almost always is fat burning mode! So yeah I started injecting at 7mm depth as directed, but had to change this within a week to about 5mm - depending on what site I am using. The abdomen ones I do at 4.5-5mm, legs about 5-6mm and top of buttock at about 6-6.5mm as there is ever so slightly more fat there. The abdomen one is the hardest to get spot on I find, and I have to massage those sites aftera day or so to remove bumps under the skin. I’m fine with it though and it is easily manageable!!! Good luck! :slight_smile:

PS My site reactions changed for the better after a short time - the first few injections at any particular site were a bit sore and red and felt like i’d been kicked in the muscle - but don’t let this put you off please!! It takes a few times to adjust your body’s reaction, as over a short time you won’t send so many hystemines to the site as if it were a sting, so becomes a whole lot easier rather quickly :slight_smile:

I don’t know whether some people who have struggled with side effects on Betaseron do better with Avonex - I don’t know how different Interferon 1a is from 1b in terms of how people react to it, but someone else on here might. If there is any mileage in that, Avonex might be an option for you if you found the Copaxone did not suit. I’m as skinny as a whippet too, but that doesn’t matter with an intramuscular injection like Avonex. I hope you find that the Copaxone is OK for you, though. Alison x

Thanks for all your replies. Glad to hear about some skinny folks out there dealing with this. People in medical professions tend to make me feel a little like a freak for being so thin, like maybe i am secretely anorexic or a heroin addict. Ha! They should see me piling chinese takeaways into my face! In fact when i first went to my now ex-GP with MS symptoms he said they were probably just due to the fact i am underweight or a vegetarian. Useful. Well nothing can be as bad (for me) as Betaferon (i know a lot of people are fine on it!) so i am going to allow myself to be cautiously optimistic about Copaxone. Sure i’ll be back here for advice if i’m feeling anxious again. Kate

Hi, just one comment…do you want some of my fat?.about 3 stones maybe, eh? luv Pollxx