I have a new prescription for Copaxone. It's the next injectable I'll be starting.
Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) is a synthetic protein made up of a combination of four amino acids that chemically resemble a component of myelin (the insulating material that protects nerves and helps them work properly). Copaxone induces the production of immune cells that are less damaging to myelin.
The most common side effects of Copaxone therapy are injection-site reactions. Less common side effects include some of the following symptoms immediately after an injection: flushing, chest pain, palpitations (irregular beating of the heart), anxiety, and difficulty breathing. However, these symptoms are usually temporary and do not require specific treatment.
So this'll be differerent than the beta-interferons I was using before, in that the Copaxone tries to mimic the actual part of my brain that gets attacked rather than trying to stop certain cells from entering my blood-brain barrier.
The upside - no more monthly blood tests, as Copaxone does not affect liver function and blood counts like the Rebif did.
The downside - daily injections. With no autoinjector. I get a month of pre-filled syringes. Each day I'll need to find a new injection site (fun) and do the injections at home.
My Neurologist wants me to try this for 2-3 months, then reassess. I think the ultimate goal is to have me on Tysabri, which is a monthly IV infusion. This drug has better success stats, by far, but also has more side-effects that can potentially be deadly.
A nurse will come soon to teach me how to inject this drug, as it will be so different from my last.
Although I am happy a medication decision has been made, that pit in my stomach still makes me feel completely out of control.
I wish I could just snap my fingers and not have to think of this ever again.