August 31st, 2009

ms

A comment that I made on nonidiotswithms

In reply to this post, I replied:

I have been on Copaxone for a number of years now and have not had one *major* relapse / exacerbation in that time. I used to get injection site reactions (localised rash/redness/hives and lumps) but antihistamine cream (OTC for bites and stings) would deal with that. So far, touch wood, I have not had more UTIs or other urinary side effects than I would have been having before the Copaxone. Then again, I always drink at least 2 litres (4 pints) of water (just water) per day (on top of any other drinks and more if I drink diuretic liquids like caffeine/coffee/tea/soda) and I take a cranberry extract supplement every day (a capsule because cranberry juice is too acidic for me to drink due to gastric refluxitis). I have always had a lot of UTIs as a chil onwards and so have got used to this liquid regime. They do actually recommend this for everyone who wants to have urinary good health.

I was not allowed to even consider one of the beta interferon DMDs instead of Copaxone because that can all cause depression and suicidal ideation and I am already on a decent dose of antidepressants due to clinical and persistent depression (caused by the MS and due to the effects of the MS on my life).

Just my 2¢. We all have different reactions to medications. The side effects one person gets will not necessarily be felt by another person taking the med. I do, however, agree that they should list it as one of the possible side effects.

*goes to check the patient information leaflet in her box of Copaxone in the fridge*

Yeah. You're right - they do not mention UTI or kidneys. They do, however, say that we should mention any other side effects to our pharmacist / doctor. It also does say:

"Take special care with Copaxone … if you have any kidney problems or heart problems as you may need to have regular tests or checkups. Ask your doctor for advice. Copaxone … has not been specifically studied with the elderly." Might you have had a developing Kidney stone problem that the copaxone just accelerated?

I also always bear in mind, with a medication, that biochemicals/medications often affect me totally differently than as intended - for example, caffeine makes me sleepy!

I hope this helps and don't mean to come over as preaching…