What is this medication?
Glatiramer Acetate, Copaxone
Indicated for treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis.
How does this medication work?
Glatiramer acetate, Copaxone is a synthetic protein that structurally resembles myelin which is the insulation fatty sheath that encase nerves and helps increase the speed of conduction. Glatiramer acetate, Copaxone is believed to induce and activate T-lymphocytes which are specific to myelin antigen which is believed to result in less damage to the myelin.
How should I take this medication?
Subcutaneous Injection: Inject 20mg once daily or 40mg 3 times weekly; must be administered at least 48 hours apart.
How to Take: Inject subcutaneously in the arms, abdomen, hips, or thighs; rotate injection sites to possibly minimize the occurrence of lipoatrophy. Do not administer IV. Administer the 40 mg dose on the same 3 days each week (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at least 48 hours apart. Allow syringe to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes prior to injection. Discard unused portions.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Glatiramer acetate, Copaxone make sure your physician is aware of any allergies and medications you currently take. There are a number of reactions that can occur immediately post-injection you should be aware of such as chest pain, anxiety, tachycardia, flushing, urticaria which are usually self-limited and transient in nature.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Store the Copaxone prefilled syringes refrigerated and protected from light when not injecting. The ideal storage temperature is between 36°F and 46°F (2°C-8°C). Do not freeze. Avoid leaving your Copaxone in a hot or cold car.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Vasodilation, chest pain, anxiety, skin rash and sweating, palpitations, infection, local injection site pain, redness and irritation, muscle pain and weakness, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, nasopharyngitis.
Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Glatiramer acetate, Copaxone only common ones.
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