Feel like getting your education on? Then keep reading! I'm sure no one wants to see me stab myself in the leg with a needle...so I'll spare you video and just show you pictures! Allow me to take you through this very, very complicated process.
First, I google my pharmacy's phone number because as usual, I forgot it. I call the pharmacy and refill my prescription. It is supposed to be over-nighted but in this case, it took them a week or so to get stuff straight with my doctors office. Anyway, the very nice UPS guy drops this box off on my doorstep. Upon opening it, this is what you see:
I get 90 days worth of shots at once. You can keep them out of the fridge for up to 30 days at a time (no one has been able to tell me why 30 days). Since I have quite the stash, it takes up the bottom part of my fridge.
The syringes come prefilled. Which is a great thing because I'd likely make a mess if I had to fill them myself. They come in "blister packs."
Next step, open the blister pack (duh!). I don't normally do this on my kitchen counter or with oven mitts. I needed something for contrast because of my blinding camera flash.
Please forgive the awkward injection technique. This was the first time I used the supposedly handy syringe gripper. It wasn't so handy. It just got in my way. The trick to injecting is to rotate your injection sites. Copaxone can make the skin hard and leave welts for up to a couple weeks. I inject in the top of my thighs, the backs of my arms, my stomach (below the belly button), and on both of my hips. The stomach and leg injections hurt the least but they leave the ugliest marks.
The next step is how to do the injection. Wash your hands, clean the area with an alcohol swab, pinch the skin, insert the needle all the way to the skin (I do this at a 90 degree angle because I'm so gosh darn muscular I'll hit muscle otherwise), release the skin but hold the needle steady so now about half of the needle is showing, inject slowly over 10 seconds, pull out, dispose of properly. Ta da!
Copaxone is a glatiramer acetate injection that is supposed to limit the number of flares a patient with MS has to less than twice a year. In theory, less flares means less lesions and scarring on the brain/spine, which should mean less loss of mobility, memory, and function when I'm older.
If you're curious for even more information check out the website at www.copaxone.com. Please feel free to ask questions!
Okay, class, that is all for today. This WILL be on the quiz. Dismissed!