glatiramer (injection)

glatiramer (injection)

Pronunciation: gla TIR a mer

Brand: Copaxone, Glatopa

What is the most important information I should know about glatiramer?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What is glatiramer?

Glatiramer is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults (including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease).

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

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using glatiramer?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to glatiramer or to mannitol.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Glatiramer is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use glatiramer?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Glatiramer is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself. Glatiramer injections are given either daily or 3 times per week, depending on your dose.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Do not use glatiramer if you don't understand all instructions for proper use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.

Store the prefilled syringes in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any syringe that has been frozen.

Take the medicine out of the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature for 20 minutes before injecting your dose.

If refrigeration is not available, a prefilled syringe will keep for up to 30 days if stored at room temperature. Protect from moisture, light, and high heat.

Each prefilled syringe is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using glatiramer?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of glatiramer?

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

Some side effects may occur within minutes after an injection. Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: itching, rash, swelling, warmth, skin redness, tingling, anxiety, fast or pounding heartbeats, chest pain, tightness in your throat, or trouble breathing.

This type of reaction may occur even after you have been using glatiramer for several months.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain (may occur alone or with other side effects shortly after an injection); or
  • hollowing or other skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects include:

  • feeling short of breath;
  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • rash; or
  • redness, pain, itching, swelling, or a lump where the injection was given.

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.

What other drugs will affect glatiramer?

Other drugs may affect glatiramer, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about glatiramer.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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