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Glatiramer (injection)

Generic Name: glatiramer (injection) (gla TIR a mer)
Brand Name: Copaxone, Glatopa

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 5, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is glatiramer?

See also: Aubagio

Glatiramer is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

Glatiramer will not cure MS, but it can make relapses occur less often.

Glatiramer may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use glatiramer if you are allergic to glatiramer or to mannitol.

Glatiramer is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I use glatiramer?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Glatiramer is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself. Glatiramer injections are given either daily or 3 times per week, depending on your dose.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use glatiramer if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Store the prefilled syringes in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any syringe that has been frozen.

Take the medicine out of the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature for 20 minutes before injecting your dose.

If refrigeration is not available, a prefilled syringe will keep for up to 30 days if stored at room temperature. Protect from moisture, light, and high heat.

Each prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using glatiramer?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Glatiramer side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some side effects may occur within minutes after an injection. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: itching, rash, swelling, warmth, skin redness, tingling, anxiety, fast or pounding heartbeats, chest pain, tightness in your throat, or trouble breathing.

This type of reaction may occur even after you have been using glatiramer for several months.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain (may occur alone or with other side effects shortly after an injection); or

  • hollowing or other skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects include:

  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • rash; or

  • redness, pain, itching, swelling, or a lump where the injection was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Glatiramer dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Multiple Sclerosis:

20 mg subcutaneously once a day or 40 mg subcutaneously 3 times a week

Comments:
-For the 3 times a week dosage regimen, each dose must be separated by at least 48 hours.
-Length of treatment should be individualized.

Approved indication: For the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis

What other drugs will affect glatiramer?

Other drugs may affect glatiramer, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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