Multiple Sclerosis Community
Chest congestion with cop axone
About This Community:

Our Patient-to-Patient MS Forum is where you can communicate with other people who share your interest in Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is not monitored by medical professionals.

Font Size:
Blank Blank

Chest congestion with cop axone

After being on Copaxone for 3 months I developed difficulty breathing and severe chest congestion and it will not go away even after taking broad spectrum antibiotics. My dr. denies any connection with Copaxone. But it is the only thing that has changed in my life - taking Copaxone injections. Has anyone heard of a link.
5 Comments Post a Comment
I have not heard of this personally. There is a chest infection going around that lasts that long. May be they need to culture your mucus and find a specific antibiotic. Flushing with salt always helps with infection. I constantly flush with saline nasal spray and gargle with salt water when I have some resipirtory infection.

I agree with Alex.  I've never heard of this reaction to Copaxone. The only possibility I can think of related to Copaxone is possibly an allergic reaction.  But that would probably be more a "breathing problem" than a "congestion" problem.  Has your doctor ruled that out?

There is another possibility:  Have you been on steroids lately?  They can suppress  your immune system.  You may well have caught a nasty virus.

I've had chest infections that lasted for close to two months (pneumonia).  Are you coughing/wheezing?

Hi Barbgolfer.  Glad you found us even though it's because you have MS and are feeling like crap!  Hope you decide to stick around once you're feeling better but guess you can't go there until you get settled with the Here and Now.

Like Alex and Tammy, I doubt your breathing difficulty and congested chest are related to the Copaxone.  I'm going to expand on that a little 'cause expanding is (regrettably) one of the things I seem to do if it’s needed (or not).

Copaxone literature states there have been uncommon reports of shortness of breath after starting the drug.  It isn't clear (to me) if these were connected to brief events called IPIRs - Immediate Post Injection Reactions - or were a separate ongoing problem.

Is your neuro the only doc advising you about this?  I'd be sure to check with your general practitioner as well.  Not all our problems are related to MS or the drugs we take to treat the disease.  A respiratory problem that isn't resolving calls for a chest x-ray at minimum but might also require an in-depth evaluation.

You don't say anything about your MS symptoms or general health (and that's okay) so it's hard for fellow PwMS to venture any guesses.  Is it possible MS is restricting your breathing and causing problems?  

The easiest explanation might be bronchitis.  It is common this time of year, especially in colder climates as people close themselves indoors with a variety of disease causing viruses and bacteria.  Antibiotics don't cure it or even treat it (because it has a viral or environmental cause) and it can take a VERY long time to resolve.  

(Antibiotics ARE sometimes ordered 'for bronchitis' if bacteria has taken advantage of a weakened host and caused secondary infection.  Full course antibiotic use to prevent infection is usually not recommended.)

There are many other possibilities so, of course, you are going to have to persevere in letting your doc-of-choice know that you want, indeed NEED to find out what is going on.

Are you considering stopping the Copaxone?  I take Copaxone.  The road hasn’t been entirely smooth but I’m glad I hung in and navigated the rough spots.  In your situation I think I would want to rule out other possible causes of the problem before blaming and ditching Copaxone UNLESS the breathing trouble was severely limiting my usual ability to function.  I'd want more of a discussion than a Yes or No answer from my doc.  I’m always looking for a plan to investigate or resolve a problem.  It can be a slow go (often is).  I don't always get an answer (#%@&).  It's just what I do because it’s the way I approach life in general.  

At some point (and usually several points) we all have to work with our docs to figure out (guess) which therapy will serve us best against a very individual and varying disease process.

It sounds like you don’t think your doc took your complaint seriously enough.  You could be right.  I’ve already said I think your respiratory problem needs more investigation.  It sounds like you got the ‘short answer’ regarding Copaxone concerns as well.  In general, in seems docs will too often opt for a simple “Yes” vs. “No” answer if our question gives them the opportunity.  Don’t hesitate to ask for a fuller explanation.  

I do believe docs generally try to be objective and factual.  That's a good thing - usually.  I also believe thoughtful questioning and/or persistence by a patient can persuade a doc to reconsider options.  That's a good thing too - usually - but not always.  Because sometimes, if a person pushes in the I-want-to-try-something-else direction, docs will 'agree' to a direction they wouldn’t have otherwise recommended.  This isn’t NECESSARILY good or bad but new directions bring add-on unknowns and potential risk that may not be fully justified.  We can cheat ourselves out of good results that waited just out-of-sight.  We can even send ourselves into a revolving door of failures that might have been avoided.

There are just so many uncertainties surrounding MS.  Convincing ourselves of a truth before gathering significant facts and sufficient knowledge usually works against us in the end.  It certainly makes life harder along the way.  Yes, I do realize you came here and asked your question because you ALREADY know that :)  This is simply a reminder for all of us that being strong self-advocates requires our active participation in an on-going process of education and understanding.  
And by the way....  this community is a wonderful place to do that!

So welcome to our forum family, Barb! (who would rather be golfing?)  It's good to have join us.
I apologize for getting so carried away.  I do that sometimes :{ and can end up far afield from my original thoughts.  Hope you (or someone else) find something in this helpful.  Mostly, I hope you get lots of ideas to consider and will feel comfortable enough with us to share a little more about yourself, your life and how you live it with MS.  

We all learn as each person shares - but we like each other even when we learn nothing!
yep and ditto:  that's what twopack said and she's usually one of our more "straight shooters" when it comes to advice......we love her for that!  
I am agreeing with girl who started this discussion, I have the same.
With starting taking copaxone I developed runny nose, sore throat only in mornings, its gone by afternoon, and my lungs felt like stuffed with cotton wool.
Then the mucus appeared. Very thick consistency, and very clear/white, no sign of being green, yellow, bright yellow light green whatever ..
And it stayed there , then I quitted copaxone for 2 days and it went , then I took copaxone again, it returned, next weekend I quitted 2 days again and it went again.
You are not alone.
And I tried nose spray, benilyn, buttercup and the one in pink and white package ummm .... Its in kitchen and I am in bed.. Oh, Exputex...
And my doc ignored it just like he is ignoring my vision change, I am seeing non existant purple light, which could be even detached retina as my new doc said, as I changed my doc, also he ignored my hip muscle pain, I am getting quite immobile, and its stinging pain. And he ignored my sensitivity to light , photophobia.

Too many docs are just doing what they want and don't hear what's not convenient for them,
Only my gp knew I don't moan about tiny things, and supported decision to go back to my old doctor for ms.
If he finds out the solution, I ll post it here, as it could be allergy
Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Multiple Sclerosis Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
Jan 27 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGDBlank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Neurology Answerers
Alagash, ME
Great Neck, NY
Dayton, OH
Durham, NC
Fort Worth, TX