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Hi there,
I'm a kiwi girl, who at the moment is deciding which drug to take - I'm a first timer - Copaxone, Betaferon or Avonex . We only three those options. I was contemplating Copaxone at the start, but my doctor told me to carefully look into it and now I'm steering towards Avonex. I have read heaps of stuff - a lot of it freaks me out - but well who knows until you actually are on it! Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Izzy,

I think you'll find if you read the book or on the site, or take a consensus that they would say to start with copaxone. Do your homework and read articles and do even read the info from the drug companies. What I can tell you is:

do not think that one needle is easier than 3 or that 3 are easier than 7.

Here's how it works:

Avonex is 1x weekly. It sounds easy, but you will literally lose a day of your week suffering. It does get better with time, so that would not be permanent. Also, the needle looks like a nail and you have insert deeply into muscle without an auto-injector

Betaferon is every other day and is a shorter needle. You may have itchy bumps, and you will also have those horrible feelings on shot day. However, they say they're not as bad as with Avonex.

Copaxone is daily, has the smallest needle and has few side effects, if any. It's also been proven as effective as Betaferon and more effective than Avonex. What's more, you have no risk of damaging your thyroid or liver and don't need regular blood tests.

I'm on Avonex. tomorrow is shot day, so i don't really plan anything special. Just getting through the day is my goal. My white blood cell count is lower than normal (it lowers your immune system) and I now get colds whereas I never used to. I also can't be sure that my reduced immune system will not let in some cancer or fungus or something else. Betaferon has the same trouble.

Now I know several people who are doing fine on avonex after 10 years. I'm doing well to, being on the diet meds, exercise and meditation. You should do all of them and not count doing any singe one as doing as enough.

Don't let the number of shots alter your decision too much. I imagine that 1xHuge side effects or 3.5xmild side effects or 7xalmost no side effects are all the same. So do the math some other way. Of course, if you travel a lot and carrying 14 packs of refrigerated medicine is difficult, or you're an archeologist and need to go out into the jungle for days at a time, then the Avonex might be a good choice.

I hope this helps.
Alex

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
I just noticed you posted this in meditation. Funny that it's only one letter off.
Alex

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
My personal experience was that the Interferons were just plain awful (side effects) and Copaxone seems side-effect free (so far so good). Make sure you read up first. I put the interferons into my body without doing any research and it's probably the biggest step back I've taken in the recovery from this condition.

Gareth
Hi Izzy,

I was offered the same options as you - initially I was put off by the thought of daily injections with copaxone but am now glad I went with that option. Besides a small red bump at the injection site, I have not had any side effects (been taking it since march last year).

I also had a huge needle phobia before I started and I think having to do the injections everyday (rather than just once or twice a week) helped me get over it much quicker. I used to feel faint whenever I had a needle but by the end of the first week of injecting myself, I was no longer feeling anxious about it.

Good luck!

Shelly
I'm on Copaxone and it's not that bad. I agree with the daily injections getting you over the phobia faster. As a matter of fact, I try to do the shot at the same time every day or else I can't remember whether I've taken it or not. If you're worried about the needle, Rebif has the same size needle as Copaxone, 1/2 inch or so. It sounds like that might not be a choice for you though. Good luck!
Izzy,

I think I gave you a good rundown, but the answer is really easy. Start with the copaxone and don't pay attention to needles. They're not really so important.
Alex

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
Also remember when seeing the scary stories
- different people respond differently to any drug - you need to find the one that's right for you
- the lists of side effects can look terrifying - but nobody gets every single one
- side-effects sometimes die down after a few months (but sometimes don't)

I had a rapidly evolving case, so my choice was Betaferon vs Tysabri - but I think the others are right in suggesting your initial instinct of Copaxone was a good one - you can always change if it doesn't suit you

Good luck with whatever you pick
Hi there

I wasn't given an option. My doc put me on copaxone.

I'm up to about my tenth day so far and it's going fine. I'm a routine person so daily injections, which are easy and the syringe is small and friendly, are alot easier to build into my lifestyle rather than every few days.

Best wishes
As catriona said, not everyone experiences the same side-effects. I was on Avonex for almost an year, along with the diet. I didn't have any side-effects at all, except 2 or 3 times when I had some mild flu-like symptoms. Unfortunately, it didn't work well, either, as I had quite a few relapses during that year :evil:

Now I'm on Copaxone and things are slowly improving, slowly being the keyword :lol:
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