What is Copaxone?Copaxone is an injection used to reduce the frequency of relapses in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
What is the most important information I should know about Copaxone?Copaxone is not a cure, but patients treated with Copaxone have fewer relapses. Copaxone is only recommended for subcutaneous (under the skin) administration. It should not be administered by the intravenous (into a vein) route.
Copaxone may cause various symptoms after injection, including flushing, chest pain, abnormal rapid heartbeat, anxiety, difficultly breathing, constriction of the throat, and hives. These symptoms are generally not permanent and do not require treatment. Seek medical help immediately if any of these symptoms occur at an unusual duration or intensity, and do not give yourself any more injections until your doctor tells you to begin again.
It is important to follow proper injection technique and rotate injection sites on a daily basis to prevent injection-site reactions.
Who should not take Copaxone?Do not use Copaxone if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Copaxone?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Copaxone. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended dose of Copaxone is 20 milligrams (mg) once a day injected subcutaneously (in the fatty layer under the skin).
How should I take Copaxone?Talk to your doctor about the correct administration technique. Also see the detailed instructions in the package insert that accompanied your prescription.
Look at the medicine in the prefilled syringe. If the medicine is cloudy or has particles in it, do not use it.
Let the blister pack with the syringe inside warm to room temperature for 20 minutes. To prevent infection, wash and dry your hands.
There are seven possible injection sites on your body: right/left arms, right/left thighs, right/left hips, and lower stomach area. Each day, pick a different injection area from one of these areas. Do not inject in the same area more than once a week.
The first dose of Copaxone should be administered under the supervision of your doctor. Inject each subsequent dose of Copaxone using the technique discussed with your doctor.
Each prefilled syringe should be used for only one injection. Throw away all used prefilled syringes in a hard-walled plastic container, such as an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle.
What should I avoid while taking Copaxone?Avoid reusing the prefilled syringe. Each prefilled syringe should be used for only one injection.
Do not change the dose or dosing schedule or stop taking the medicine without talking with your doctor.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Copaxone?No significant interactions have been reported with Copaxone at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of Copaxone?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: redness, pain, swelling, itching, lump at the injection site, dizziness, sweating, chest pain, trouble breathing
Can I receive Copaxone if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Copaxone during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Copaxone?If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is closer to the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Avoid giving two injections in the same 12-hour period.
How should I store Copaxone?Keep the Copaxone prefilled syringe carton in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the package as soon as you get it. If you cannot store Copaxone in a refrigerator, you can store it at room temperature for up to 7 days. Do not store it at room temperature for longer than 7 days and do not freeze this medication. Keep protected from light.