Starting copaxone - help!


I'm about to start taking copaxone, the nurse is coming on friday to show me how to do the injections.

Any advice on how to reduce the likelihood of pain when injecting, skin reactions etc. and any general hints/tips would be most welcome..

I was only dx 6 months ago and whilst I'm trying to be positive and see this as a way of taking control, it's also a bit scary to say the least!


Gill (the coward)







Hiya Gill.

I had awful pain when I first started Copaxone so I know just how you feel.  Here's a few tips that helped me.

Make sure your injection is body temp before doing it (hold it in your had or stick down your bra for a bit).

Try using the heat pad/cool pad thing you get.  I found a warm one before and a cold one after worked best but I tried various, 2 warm, 2 cold, cold then warm, warm then cold.  I could just use the cold pad afterwards quite quickly and still use it when I get the odd time that stings/hurts.

Try taking an antihistamine (just the 1 a day ones).  Bad reactions can mean that you're slightly allergic to it, so can help until your body gets used to it.

I had been on Rebif before and manually injected (the noise of the auto thingy make me jump and pull the needle out too quick).  I really struggled to manually inject with Copaxone because the pain was almost too much, so I tried the auto injector as well.  Once again I found I jumped and pulled the needle out too quick, also it didn't help with the pain or site reactions.

SO.....I ended up getting some Emla Cream from my GP (a nurse friend recomended it).  It's the stuff they use to make the skin numb in hospitals.  You need to get the plaster things to stick over it on prescription as well.  It's a bit more messing about as you put it on about an hour before you inject but it made such a diffrence to me.

I ended up allergic to the plasters that you put over the cream so stopped using it, but by that time my body was used to it and things had clamed down loads so I just needed to use the cool pack afterwards for a while.


Sorry if I rambled on a bit too much for you but I know exactly where you're coming from.  I've now been on Copaxone for about 3 years and I'm glad I stuck with it as it's doing it's job well.

Good luck




Thanks JB75, its nice to hear from someone going through the same thing.

And I know what you mean - my syringes have been lurking in the fridge for the last 2 weeks (hidden behind the yoghurt) and i managed to 'break' my sharps bin within half an hour of getting it.. doesnt bode well.. I did manage to jimmy it back open again with a knife, hope the nurse doesnt notice!

At least I still have my sense of humour.

Let me know how you get on with the extavia.

Gill x




Thanks v much for the tips, especially the emla cream and warm/cold pads.

It's good to hear the medication is working well for you.

Gill x

Fear not, Gill
It really aint that bad!  Follow Sue's advice, and you will be used to it in no time at all.
I used the auto-injector at first, and stayed with it.  In the beginning, you may find some reactions around the injection site, but after a few weeks, these tend not to be so bad, and then you don't really notice them at all.

My own personal trick is to use a watch (could be a clock) with a sweep second hand.  I have everything in place, injector touching the skin, thumb on the button, and when the hand reaches an Hour mark, I press the button.  OK, this is sort-of psychological trickery, I am not thinking about the needle going in, I am thinking about the button.  20 or 25 seconds later, I remove the injector.  Job done!  Then it is a matter of dumping the used syringe into the sharps bin, crossing off the day in my injection diary, and before you know what has happened it is part of the daily routine.

I just wish I had started Copaxone when I was first offered the chance (and not six months later) - it would have probably cut out one or two relapses.


Hi gill,

I’ve been on copaxone since oct 2011, it does sting a bit after the injection but you get used to it, I was really itchy for 3 months but that’s gone now after some antihystemine, I massage the injection site a couple off days after + that gets rid off any lumps, I leave a weeks supply out off the fridge that way it’s always at room temp, my husband does all my injections, he thinks he’s a doctor now:() julsiexx

Thanks for all the advice and support, roll on tomorrow & we'll see how it goes.

Gill xx