Generic name: Glatiramer Acetate (gla TIR a mer AS e tate)
Brand name: Copaxone, Glatopa
Drug class: Other immunostimulants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 11, 2020.
Uses of Glatiramer Acetate:
- It is used to lower the number of setbacks with MS (multiple sclerosis).
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Glatiramer Acetate?
- If you have an allergy to glatiramer acetate or any other part of glatiramer acetate.
- If you are allergic to glatiramer acetate; any part of glatiramer acetate; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take glatiramer acetate with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Glatiramer Acetate?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take glatiramer acetate. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Some people have had a reaction within seconds to minutes after getting glatiramer acetate. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects after getting glatiramer acetate.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Glatiramer Acetate) best taken?
Use glatiramer acetate as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin of the stomach, thigh, upper arm, or outer hip.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- If stored in a refrigerator, let glatiramer acetate come to room temperature before using it. Do not heat glatiramer acetate.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- This medicine is colorless to a faint yellow. Do not use if the solution changes color.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Throw syringe away after use. Do not use the same syringe more than one time.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Sweating a lot.
- Shortness of breath.
- Swollen gland.
- Damage to the fatty tissue under your skin can happen with glatiramer acetate. Rarely, death of skin tissue may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have pain, color, temperature change, or a dent where the injection was given.
What are some other side effects of Glatiramer Acetate?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Glatiramer Acetate?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 30 days. If stored at room temperature and not used within 30 days, throw glatiramer acetate away.
- Protect from heat and light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about glatiramer acetate, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
- What happens if an MS patient stops taking Copaxone?
- How long does it take for Copaxone to be effective?
- How does Copaxone work as treatment for multiple sclerosis?
- How long can you take Copaxone?
- Where and how should Copaxone be injected?
More about glatiramer
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 143 Reviews
- Drug class: other immunostimulants
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.