The decision to use or not use a disease-modifying treatment is a personal one between yourself, your family, and your doctor. Some patients decide to jump in and get started and others wait and see how their MS is going to progress.
When I finally received the official diagnosis in October 2005, I had already experienced years of symptoms (since 1993 at least), a documented clinically isolated syndrome (blinding case of optic neuritis in 2000), and relapses which were significantly impacting my ability to function. There was no question in my mind that I would do what I needed to do to fight this beast.
The question then became WHICH treatment to choose. I did not want to use any of the beta interferon drugs due to one significant side-effect which is depression. I already had a history of depression which goes back decades and didn’t want to have to fight that battle in addition to MS. So Copaxone was my ONLY choice. [Note: Tysabri was not yet back on the market.]
Copaxone is a daily medication, self-injected just under the skin into the fat tissue, but never the muscle (ouch). Injection site reactions are the most common side-effect. There is also the Immediate Post-Injection Reaction which about 10% of patients experience. I’ve heard this described as feeling “like having a heart attack.” Fortunately, I’ve not experienced this particular side-effect.
Read this post in its entirety:
Taking Copaxone to Treat My MS