The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
GLATIRAMER - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Copaxone
This medication is used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease. This drug is not a cure for MS.
How To Use
This drug is administered by injection under the skin. Follow all instructions exactly and review the glatiramer patient information booklet with your doctor or pharmacist to learn how to prepare and inject the drug, as well as proper disposal of used needles and syringes. The recommended dose for treatment of MS is 20 mg daily, given at the same time each day when you feel strongest. Areas for self-injection include arms, abdomen (lower belly), hips and thighs. Rotate injection sites as directed. Be sure to use the proper injection device for the type of syringe (e.g., glass or plastic) the medication is in. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the device. Discard any unused portion of a vial after a single use. If the solution contains particles, do not inject. Instead, discard or return the drug to your pharmacist.
Immediately after injection, you may experience flushing, chest pain, fast heartbeat, anxiety, shortness of breath or itching. These symptoms disappear fairly quickly and do not require treatment. They usually start after you use the drug for a few months. Unusual weakness, pain, nausea, joint aches or headache may occur. If any side effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor immediately. Report immediately: hives (itchy, blotchy skin swelling), severe pain at the injection site, chills, flu-like symptoms, rash. Unlikely but report promptly: mental/mood changes, dizziness, fainting, swelling, vision problems. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: allergies (especially drug allergies). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. It is not known if this drug is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Refrigerate the powder between 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C). If refrigeration is not possible, the powder may be stored at room temperature at 59 to 86 degrees F (15-30C) for up to one week. Do not expose powder to strong light or high temperatures. The mixing liquid (diluent) can be stored at room temperature. Once the solution is prepared, use it immediately. Do not save it for later use.