glatiramer (Copaxone, Glatopa)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis

What is glatiramer-injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Glatiramer's mechanism of action is not completely understood. Available data suggests that it may work by modifying immune processes by suppressing T-cells (white blood cells of the immune system) that cause inflammation and destruction of nerves in patients with MS . Glatiramer does not cure MS. It decreases the number of MS flares and lesions in the brain.
  • The FDA approved glatiramer in December, 1996.

What brand names are available for glatiramer-injection?

Copaxone, Glatopa

Is glatiramer-injection available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for glatiramer-injection?

Yes

What are the uses for glatiramer-injection?

Glatiramer is used for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

What are the side effects of glatiramer-injection?

Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

Possible serious side effects include:

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

What is the dosage for glatiramer-injection?

  • The recommended dose for treating relapsing forms of MS is 20 mg injected under the skin daily or 40 mg injected under the skin 3 times a week (at least 48 hours apart).

Which drugs or supplements interact with glatiramer-injection?

  • Drug interactions between glatiramer and other drugs have not been evaluated.
  • Available information does not suggest that glatiramer significantly interacts with other MS drugs. However, use of glatiramer with other drugs that also suppress the immune system may increase the risk of serious infection.

Is glatiramer-injection safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Glatiramer has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
  • It is not known if glatiramer acetate is excreted in human milk.

What else should I know about glatiramer-injection?

What preparations of glatiramer-injection are available?

Solution for injection: 20 mg/ml, 40 mg/ml in a single dose, prefilled syringe.

How should I keep glatiramer-injection stored?

  • Glatiramer should be stored refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F).
  • It also may be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) for one month if needed.
  • Frozen syringes should be discarded.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment

Summary

Glatiramer (Copaxone, Glatopa) is a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug prescribed to treat individuals with relapsing multiple slcerosis (MS). Common side effects include:

Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to using any medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

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Reviewed on 6/10/2016
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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