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Old 07-09-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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Rebif VS. Copaxone

I was wondering what the differance is between rebif and copaxone and why my nuero would put me on copaxone and not rebif.

 
Old 07-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

I do not do meds, but I do know that some doctors make some of their decisions based upon what they have read or the sales pitch of the pharmaceutical sales person. I am sure others here can offer differences, but I would also ask your doctor directly why he recommends one over the other.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Just to clarify alittle further, Copaxone is one of the lesser injectables, lesser meaning it isnt as strong. If you are presenting with minimal lesions and small amounts of symtoms, Copaxone would be an ideal place to start a new patient because it gives the doctor plenty of room to "grow" as far as increasing to one of the stronger medications.

Rebif, like Betaseron and Avonex, are Interferons. They work in a totally differnt way than Copaxone does~ and Rebif is the strongest one of all, so a patient with a more advanced presentation would most likely start with Rebif. Because Interferons also have more severe side effects, a patient who is less tolerant of side effects would be a better candidate for Copaxone.

Copaxones only real side effect is injection site reactions...red welts which occasionally become sore. Because it is injected daily, these injection sites can become a problem. The interferons have flu like side effects, causing more nausea and fevers than Copaxone does...these side effects do go away eventually and not everyone experiences them, but those who do, often do not give the drug the full six months to work (build up in the blood stream) and allow the side effects to wear off.

i hope this helps alittle!
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

It does help a lot. Thank you for the information.

 
Old 07-10-2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Re: Rebif vs Copaxone. Copaxone is very safe with few sided effects. You do the shot once per day. No real side-effects noted, but I did get the immediate reaction (flushing, hot flashes, rapid heart beat, trouble breahting. The good thing is that these reactions last only a short time. Other than the injection site reaction, for the most part you just go about you life. No flu-like effects, just taken everyday. I liked it alot, but after 4 exacerbations needing IV steroids in 1 year, we switched to Rebif. About 1 month into my max titration dose, I noticed I was short of breath, bruising, and extra-tired all the time. I posted earlier that all of my bone marrow was suppressed. I am going to Ty, The inections for the Copaxone was painful no matter how you did it. With Rebif, there was no pain, just flu-like symptoms. Oh, and the destroying of your bone marrow thing. I think that is pretty rare though. Now I will be starting Ty. I think if I were just starting, I would go with comapxone. You can at least live a more normal life taking those shots---not at the mercy of the side effects of the others.

 
Old 07-10-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Well, I am getting flu-like symptoms with the copaxone, so my nuero is switching me to rebif. Are there really bad flu-like symptoms with rebif? Do you know if a lot of people who take it get the flu-like symptoms?

 
Old 07-10-2012, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Rebif is an interferon and all of the interferons come with flu-like symptoms. They are usually worse during the first 3 months of treatment but in some people they never go away. I did have flu-like symptoms. Mostly nausea and aches. Advil took care of the aches, but almost nothing took away the nausea. Everyone is different though. Some people have no flu symptoms at all. It is rare for people to have the types of reactions you had on Copaxone. The good thing is that you start off on a very small dose (8mcg) and work your way up to 44 mcg over 4 weeks. (2 weeks on 8; 2 weeks on 22mcg; then up to full dose 44 mcg.) Try to premedicate with a fever reducer 1 hour before and you will work out a time that is best for you to give the shot with your Rebif nurse. I did mine at night to sleep through the worse symptoms. Let us know how it goes.

 
Old 07-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #8
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

I have never heard of anyone getting flu like symtoms with Copaxone; however only 5% of people DO NOT get flu like symtoms with Rebif or Avonex or Betaseron.

Because the drugs are titrated, meaning you start at a low dose and work your way up to full dosing; no one gets the flu like symtoms month one...they start when you increase to either the middle dosage month two, or full dosage month three...at that point, you can expect to get sick about two hours after the shot and it lasts about eight hours.....on nights when you do not inject, you will be fine.

I managed to not miss a day of work or college when I was starting out with Rebif. I can help you with alot of suggestions once you start getting side effects, but they DO GO AWAY once your body is used to the drug...takes about 2-3 months at full dosage for it to acclimate to your body and for it to reach full strength in your blood stream and start protecting you. Im unclear though why you are getting flu like side effects from Copaxone...thast not even in the literature as a possiblity. Your sitation is one of a kind!

I hope you tolerate Rebif better...
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Thank you for your help and my neuro was supprised about the flu-like symptoms aswell I just hope that rebif will be better and that my body takes it better. Thank you again and I'll let you know how it goes.

 
Old 07-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #10
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Hi, i have been on rebif since june of last year. The only issue i have ever had is headaches, and that is only since i switched to the 44 mcg. I started out in the 8 mcg, then only went up to 22 mcg for about 6 mos. Then i was switched to the 44 mcg (at the recommendation of my new dr).

Since i've been on the 44 mcg, i get mild to medium hedaches sometimes. i thought they would go away after 3 months of being on the 44 mcg but they havent. I find that as long as i stay hydrated and sometimes take 2 advil, they will go away immediately.

Good luck!

 
Old 07-10-2012, 06:52 PM   #11
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Headaches I can deal with but the flu-like symptoms are a lot and wipe me out and since I'm in college I need all the strength and energy I can get.
KingBaxter were you on anything else before you started rebif?? and thank you!

 
Old 07-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #12
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

When i started Rebif, I was in college full time, just married and inherited 3 stepkids. I also had a 40+ hour a week job. I was carrying 12 credits each semeseter while working fulltime.

It did kick my butt in the beginning; however Rebif is 3 times a week. I would do my shots M-W- F. Monday night, Id do it right after dinner and get my butt to bed by 9 pm. I usually woke up about midnight feeling awful. The pre-injection medication did nothing for me. I was nauseas and crampy for 8 hours. I managed NEVER to miss a day of work or a day of school...I just walked around like a zombie on Tuesday. Wed night shots were much the same and Thursdays werent good days for me. Friday nights, I would do the shot later at night, and stay up later...and sleep most of Saturday away, and feel almost like myself. By Saturday night, I could have a "normal' weekend. Sundays were "days off". (and time to do homework!).

You really do adjust to it...its not easy, but you will adjust to it. It was about month 4, when I took a vacation to Mexico and realized 10 minutes after I did my shot that I forgot to take Aleve before I injected...funny thing was, I didnt get sick! The next shot, I purposely didnt take anything, and again I didnt get sick. I never got sick again from injections.

The stories I can tell of Rebif were great for almost 6 years. Then, things went downhill. Please talk to your doctor about NABs. That is neutralizing anti-bodies. People (the general public) will say that its rare to develop them, but Serano, the manufacturer is now suggesting after 2 years on the drug you get tested for them twice a year. Its not as rare as they once thought. If you develope antibodies to Interferon, it can make you extremely sick. Ive been off Rebif for a year now. I feel terrific, but im not doing as well radiographically as I was when I was on it, Im seriously considering trying it again...

Youll do fine with college and life in general as long as you force yourself to just get through it. Before you know it, youll be over the worst of it. Only doing it 3 times a week is alot better than the 7 day Copaxone shot you are used to.
Best to you.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #13
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeror1213 View Post
Headaches I can deal with but the flu-like symptoms are a lot and wipe me out and since I'm in college I need all the strength and energy I can get.
As you are in college, I would recommend that the EEOC or equivalent office (office to assure equal access regardless of physical ability) knows about your illness. If you are on meds and you have to miss class due to unforeseen problems, the office can make sure to advocate for you such as providing note takers, tutors, proctored tests...

I enjoyed the assistance provided by my university back in 1981-1985 before it became mandatory. College is stressful enough on its own! Having an advocate makes your whole life at college sweeter, especially when you are disabled or sidelined.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:13 AM   #14
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Hi, you're very welcome! I was not on anything before rebif. I was just dx with possible ms after having ON last may. I started treatment about a month after my dx.

 
Old 07-11-2012, 04:15 AM   #15
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Re: Rebif VS. Copaxone

Hi, you're very welcome! I was not on anything before rebif. I was just dx with possible ms after having ON last may. I started treatment about a month after my dx.
I hope you will have little or no side effects!!

 
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