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Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD
The FDA approved a 40-milligram dose for people with relapsing-remitting MS. The 20-milligram daily dose will still be available.
Researchers studied the higher dose in more than 1,400 people with MS. After a year of treatment, relapse rates were 34% lower than in those taking a placebo. The three-times-a-week treatment is safe and effective, Omar Khan, MD, Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, says in the company release.
About 35% of people had reactions to the injection, which included flushing, chest tightness or pain with heart palpitations, anxiety, and trouble breathing. Most reactions resolved within 15 minutes after the injection, but a few people needed emergency medical care.
Copaxone's manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, says the three-times-per-week regimen "will be available to patients within days." If you're interested in the new dose, you can call your doctor or Teva's Shared Solutions patient support center (1-800-887-8100) and make a request, the release says.
Shared Solutions also provides 24/7 nurse support and financial and benefits information. They can also help you find a pharmacy that carries Copaxone.
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