What is glatiramer?

Glatiramer is a combination of four amino acids (proteins) that affect the immune system.

Glatiramer is used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and to prevent relapse of MS.

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

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

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to glatiramer or to mannitol.

Before using glatiramer, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have any other illness or if you take any other medicines. You may not be able to use glatiramer, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether glatiramer passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using glatiramer.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a glatiramer overdose are not known.

Use the medication as soon as you remember the missed dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Some people receiving a glatiramer injection have had a reaction to the infusion (when the medicine is injected into the vein). Tell your caregiver right away if you feel anxious, warm, itchy, tingly, or have a pounding heartbeat, tightness in your throat, or trouble breathing during the injection. This type of reaction may occur even after you have been using glatiramer for several months.

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain;
  • fast heart rate;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • severe pain where the injection is given.

Less serious side effects include:

  • redness, minor pain, swelling, irritation, or a hard lump where the injection was given;
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under the skin;
  • weakness, dizziness;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • joint pain;
  • nausea, diarrhea;
  • muscle tension or stiffness;
  • runny nose;
  • changes in your menstrual periods; or
  • increased urge to urinate.

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. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

There may be other drugs that can affect glatiramer. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Copaxone and glatiramer

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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