Has anyone experienced this??

Last November I experienced two IPIR’s whilst on Copaxone and since then I have been getting a strange tightening of the throat like someone is squeezing and pushing into it which makes me cough. It lasts about 2/3 seconds at a time but can happen up to 10 times a day. I also keep getting a persistent cough and trouble breathing, bit like an asthmatic symptom ( used to have asthma as a child ) . I mentioned this to my neuro at my appointment on the 7th of this month and he sounded my chest and said there didn’t seem to be any kind of infection. I’m not surprised at this as it definitely does not feel in my lungs, it feels like my upper chest and throat. Unfortunately I had another IPIR a week ago and when I phoned connections I happened to mention the throat probs to my ms liason nurse, she hadn’t heard of this but suggested I stop Copaxone for 2 weeks. I’ve now been off it for 4 days but so far I’m still getting the tightness and the cough. I’m hoping that this is not a symptom of ms as it’s really debilitating and uncomfortable. I’m also trying to eliminate other things, we’re not going to light a fire for a few days in case it’s something the coal is giving off. I’m seeing the hospital ms nurse on the 25th so I’ll keep off Copaxone untill after that but I daren’t stop it for any longer. Has anyone else experienced this either on or off Copaxone and have not had a cold recently?

Hi there,

Sorry to hear of this symptom you are having. I too experience something similar. For me it is a tightening of the throat and often a sensation that there is a lump in my throat, I also have to catch my breath sometime. This has been going on for over 2 years. I put up with it for a year and thought it was a globus type thing brought on by stress- my dad was very ill at the time. However it persisted and I went to see GP who referred me to ENT. She thought it could be due to acid reflux and prescribed first omeprazole. I took this for 6 months- it made no difference. I went back to GP who switched me to Lanzoprazole another PPI. Again no difference-I didn’t experience any classic symptoms of acid reflux such as heartburn at all. I have now stopped taking the lansoprazole. When I last saw my MS nurse we came to the conclusion that it is probably an MS symptom ie my throat going into spasm and something I will have to put up with. I am also on copaxone-started in September 2012 so the throat thing was going on long before I started on it. Somedays it is not as bad and I try to forget about it. If I think about it too much it seems worse but I agree it is not very nice. I can swallow food and drink fine so the nurse says I can’t be referred to Speech therapist. Check with your MS nurse and I will be interested to hear what they think. I see my nurse again in March so will bring up the topic again.

All the best


Thanks for you reply Cathy. I saw my ms nurse on the 25th and my throat was really playing up on that day. I could hardly speak to her properly as I couldn’t take a deep breath and I kept coughing. In the end I sounded like a dalek!! She sympathised but she said, am I stressed?, do I have a chest infection? I was only getting a bit stressed out whilst trying to talk to her as it was so uncomfortable and no, I do not have a chest infection, the cough is completely unproductive. I do get a bit fed up of people telling me that things are caused because of anxiety and stress. This throat thing can still happen while I’m relaxed so I think I can rule that one out!! She mentioned that ms causes parts of the body to spasm but she’d never heard of the throat doing so. She then popped out to speak to my neuro who said that he was sure that this was not a neurological condition and that I should see my gp but also stop Copaxone. So now I’ve got to choose another DMD. So I went home and made a gp’s appointment but then over the next two days this throat thing began to feel a lot better ( I’d now been off Copaxone for 12 days ) so (maybe stupidly) I cancelled my gp appointment. I hate to waste anyones time and I felt like he wouldn’t believe me as I was feeling a lot better. I’ve cancelled my Copaxone. It’s now been 14 days since I’ve had Copaxone and the throat is definitely better than it was BUT I can still feel these spasms even though they are very mild to what they were and it’s now scaring me that it could actually be my ms and not the Copaxone. I was doing fine on the Copaxone until these blasted IPIR’s and I’m quite scared now as I only have an interferon to choose from and I’ve heard so many bad things about them. I’m thinking of Rebif with the rebismart. Sometimes I wonder if I might not take anything at all. I get so angry and scared about this bloody ms. I just want to feel normal again. I do apologise if my posts are hard to read, my computer will not let me split into paragraphs whilst I’m on this site, it used to so I don’t know what’s changed.