Life with MS & EDS

January 30, 2009

The Ball is Rolling

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mseds @ 7:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

Well, I finally scheduled my first shipment of Copaxone.  The delay was because my neurologist had already sent a prescription with the initial fax over to the Copaxone folks at Shared Solutions, but my mail-order pharmacy wanted a different Rx.  There seemed to be a miscommunication about this with the doctor’s office and it took some calling around to get things moving.  Both the Shared Solutions folks and the pharmacy were very helpful.  There must have been a note or something in my file about this because when the pharmacy called this afternoon and I said “finally”, they responded as if they knew exactly why I said that.

So, the drugs should arrive on Tuesday.  They are sending a 90 day supply, which is going to cost me $30 more than I expected (I should have read about the co-pay increase for 2009, but didn’t.)  They are also throwing in a sharps container and alcohol wipes free of charge (how generous.)

After we talked about the logistics, they asked if I wanted to talk with a Pharmacist.  I wasn’t even sure what I’d ask this person, but I did want to make sure they were shipping the 29 gauge needle (they will), so I said I’d like to talk with them.  A really nice guy greeted me and made me feel very comfortable.  It was nice to talk with someone who wasn’t from Shared Solutions.  It made me feel like I was getting a more objective opinion.  He spoke highly of the medication and gave me some good tips and useful information:

Don’t ever shake the medication.

Store it where you would milk or eggs in the fridge.  Make sure it’s not towards the bottom or where it could freeze.

The medication can be kept out up to 86 degrees for 30 days, but it should be kept in the fridge.  Leaving some out while traveling would be okay though.

Doing it before bed seems like a preferred time of day.

Take the medication out at least 30 – 60 min. before doing the injection, but a few days worth can be left out at a time.  I think I’ll take one out the night before and that way I’ll always have one at room temp.

About 1 in 10 experience shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat at least once while taking Copaxone.  If this happens, sit down and breathe normally for 10 minutes.  Don’t panic (I’m sure I’ll panic, but will try to keep this in mind.)

To inject into the arm, place the arm over the back of a chair.  The AutoJect will make injecting into the arm easier, too. (He made sure I already had one.)

And lastly, what seems to be the most useful tip, don’t use ice on the injection site.  Instead, use a warm compress for a few minutes to warm the area before doing the injection.  This seems to minimize injection site reactions.  That made complete sense.  Freezing the area makes the blood flow slow, which keeps the medication in one spot longer.  Warming the area allows the blood to flow faster and therefore carries the medication away more quickly (although I suspect this could increase bleeding at the injection site, but I have zero medical training, so this is just a guess.)  I’m curious what the nurse will say about this during training.

After talking with the pharmacy, I called Shared Solutions again to let them know things were finally moving forward.  I asked for a few more supplies (fridge containers with locks since I have young kids, travel cases, an extra AutoJect – if I am forgetting something, please let me know!), but they said they can’t send anything until I’ve actually started the medication.  They did call the nurse who will train me and left a message for her to call me.

If anyone has any other Copaxone tips they have picked up, please let me know.  I’ll be shooting up with you soon and would love any advice!

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1 Comment »

  1. Here are my tips for easier injections – http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/19065/45202/reduced

    Many of them are the same as above. But there is one step which is significantly different. When/if you’re interested in talking through it, just let me know. It’s the “no drip” needle option.

    Good luck when it all starts. You’ll do just fine.

    Comment by Lisa Emrich — January 30, 2009 @ 10:20 pm


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