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Neuro pushing Copaxone

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I'm having my first relapse in 9 years and it's a big one. Of course neuro's pushing drugs, but being mostly anti-western medicine, I'm reluctant. I've been doing accupuncture and did massage until the pins and needles got too bad to be touched. I promised I would do research, but need to hear from folks who actually take Copaxone, not what the drug companys want me to know.

So...How about it? Do you take it, does it help, side effects, dealing with needles, I need to know it all. I've refused this treatment for 15 years but I'm facing that I may have to start.

I would be grateful for any advice.
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First Helper User Profile triciahealth
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replied April 18th, 2010
Community Volunteer
merrymeet,

Here's my personal experience with Copaxone:

This drug has the least side effects, daily injections subcutaneously, injection burned at times and left lumps that would not go away and in my case my symptoms seemed to increase.

Seminars I attended stated that it would take at least 6 months or longer to see the effect of Copaxone.

I stopped taking it and face MS on my own...my diet consist 98% of unprocessed foods to decrease inflammation and so far has worked.

You mentioned pins and needles got too bad. Have you recently had your B12 levels checked? My pins and needles were horrific and come to find out my B12 level was way below normal...I now give myself monthly injections (B12 that is) and 99.9% of those symtpoms have vanished.

I prefer to not have un-necessary drugs in my body...just causes more unwanted issues...however will take them as a last resort.

Best Wishes merrymeet,

Zig
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replied January 8th, 2011
Merrymeet,

I am also not fond of the pharmaceutical industry. I chose copaxone as it is really only amino acids. For me I noticed improvements right away, within a month or two. I had been seeing a Naturpath Dr who had me taking oral amino acids, b12 and digestive enzymes. I also received acupuncture treatments. I think it was possibly a combination of the oral and inject-able forms of amino acids that made me respond to it quicker. It is supposed to take up to 9 months to become effective. The Naturpath Dr also prescribed Quercetin for the injection side effects which worked for me. I've heard all kinds of results from people using Copaxone. I think your smart to do your research. I've asked the drug company questions but I never get straight answers. I found a small study showing that injecting 2times/week was shown to be as effective as injecting every day. I asked my Neuro, she had also seen the study. So for now I am trying the twice a week dosage to see how I do.
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replied January 19th, 2011
Are you injecting copaxone 2 x per week? My boyfriend is currently injecting daily and I know hes having a rough time with it.. the stinging, burning and bruising. Where can we find information on 2 x per week injections? He has a follow up appt with the neuro feb 1... is this something he should ask about?
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replied January 20th, 2011
I was off of Copaxone for 2 weeks because of a possible allergic reaction. My Neurologist felt it wasn't Copaxone that was causing my allergic reaction so I was told to resume treatment. In the time off of it I didn't have any relapse symptoms. So that is when I asked about the study. The neurologist wasn't crazy about me only injecting 2/week. She said the study was promising but would like to see a trial with more patients and over a longer time. I am doing the 2/week just to see how I do. If I start to notice flare ups etc I will resume daily injecting. Her is the link to the study.
http://www.abstracts2view.com/aan/view.php ?nu=AAN10L_S11.002
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replied February 26th, 2011
2x week Copaxone Study
New2Ms10

Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, the link to the study wasn't available. Do you know of another link or method to read the study? Thank you for your help.
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replied February 26th, 2011
I can't get into the old link either. There is a little info on the study in this link.

If not just search on google, using copaxone twice weekly study
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replied June 30th, 2011
I did Copaxone for 7 years and then stopped, only because I was tired of injecting and the side effects were bothering me. However, although not conclusive, there is something to the fact that it may increase the chance of getting breast cancer. A few years after I stopped taking copaxone guess what I was diagnosed with? Yep, breast cancer. The evidence is not conclusive, but if I had known there was a chance, I never would have taken it. Do your homework, for sure!
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replied June 30th, 2011
I did Copaxone for 7 years and then stopped, only because I was tired of injecting and the side effects were bothering me. However, although not conclusive, there is something to the fact that it may increase the chance of getting breast cancer. A few years after I stopped taking copaxone guess what I was diagnosed with? Yep, breast cancer. The evidence is not conclusive, but if I had known there was a chance, I never would have taken it. Do your homework, for sure!
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replied June 30th, 2011
Experienced User
This is absolutely insane. What stage is your breast cancer?
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replied July 1st, 2011
I caught it at a very early stage. Stage1 or 2, I can't remember. Had a lumpectomy. In a way, I was lucky that my mother had it twice, forcing me to get checked 2x a year. AND my cancer was not the same as hers at all and I was tested for the gene and do NOT have the gene! But I do recall my neuro kinda brushing off the link of Copaxone to cancer. He said it was not conclusive. Yeah and I am sure people want to take the chance! Riiiiiight! And the article you posted below not only confirms it in my mind, but also ticks me off!!!
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replied July 1st, 2011
Experienced User
Always do your homework
Well, at least you caught it early enough. Some women are not so lucky. I just hope that you are not taking Tamoxifen. That's another ineffective crappy drug that comes with a long list of side effects.

DIM, Vitamin D, Calcium D-glucurate and others are much safer options.
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replied July 4th, 2011
I just spent a half an hour posting a reply and the whole thing disappeared because I had to sign in again. So, I am not happy! Gggrrrrrrrrt!!!! Lets just say I am in no frame of mind to deal with getting off tamoxifen. As it is I am losing it just trying to deal with the MS so I can walk unaided. I live in a hot spot for breast cancer and personally know at least 6 or 7 women who have had it. I am at the point where I have to choose my battle. Crazy as it sounds, I choose MS for now. I did a lot of research 3 years ago for my breast cancer. Actually almost chose a double mastectomy. But I went the way of a lumpectomy and am glad because the cancer was thankfully only 7mm. No chemo but the stress of taking care of my mother with no help from my healthy family, took it's toll and here I am today barely able to walk and still no family help and I lost my Mom anyway! So, yes, I am choosing MS to work on. Sorry for ranting!!!
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replied June 30th, 2011
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Teva slips on reports of study linking MS drugs to cancer
From: "BigArtie"
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 07:06:46 -0400


Teva slips on reports of study linking MS drugs to cancer

By Nitzan Cohen and Yoram Gavison

Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals lost 3 percent on huge turnover of NIS 89
million yesterday on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on rumors of research
linking the company's multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone with breast
cancer.

The research, headed by Ben-Gurion University's Dr Anat Ahiron, was
submitted for publication in medical journal Breast Cancer Research &
Treatment, and is based on the results of earlier studies.

Those studies found that MS patients not treated with one of the four
medications currently on the market had a smaller chance of contracting
certain forms of cancer than those treated with Biogen's Avonex, Teva's
Copaxone, Serono's Rebif or Schering's Betaserone.

The possible explanation is that MS - an autoimmune disorder in which the
immune system attacks the body - causes intensive immune system activity
that decreases the occurence of cancer. The news in Ahiron's research is
that treatment with MS medications annulled the protective effect the
disease has against cancer.

Ahiron and her research partners examined the effect of treatment with the
four medications on the frequency of cancer in 1,338 patients, 892 of whom
were women. The number is representative of the greater number of females
affected by MS, considered a scourge of women from the northern hemisphere.

The research found that 15 women contracted breast cancer, and 31 fell ill
with some form of cancer. The research revealed that treatment with Copaxone
increased the chances of contracting breast cancer to greater than that of
the general population. The other three treatments reduced the chances by 48
percent.

The research revealed that the other three treatments increased the chances
of contracting other forms of cancer. The findings are substantial enough to
indicate the need for further research.

Teva stated in response that Ahiron's data indicated 15 women developed
breast cancer out of the total 892 female patients in the study, but 11 had
contracted the disease before beginning treatment for MS. Teva notes that
since the inception of the Copaxone treatment in 1996, 60,000 women
worldwide have taken the drug and been under medical supervision from the
start of treatment. Incidence of cancer in that group is 83 percent lower
than in the general population. This wide database is more reliable than
Ahiron's research population, Teva states.

Investment bank IBI analyst Ela Alkalai said the research could adversely
impact Teva in the short run, due to the U.S. market's sensitivity to drug
safety.

However, Alkalai does not expect the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to
take any action.

Alkalai did note that the research will increase the scrutiny Teva faces in
light of the launch of Copaxone rival Tysabri. She left her buy
recommendation in tact with a $35 target price. She says the current market
price of $28.5 already incorporates a projected dip in Copaxone sales in
2005.
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replied July 17th, 2012
I was diagnosed with MS in 1983 and ovarian cancer 2 months ago.
I took Copaxone for 10 years and stopped a month ago. I am very curious about the possible connection to cancer and Copaxone.
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replied October 22nd, 2013
Diagnosed with MS in 1999. I took Avonex for a few years and Copaxone for about 4 years. I stopped in 2008 and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. I also wondered if there was a connection. The Dr wants me to consider taking Copaxone again but I'm a bit worried.
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