Glatiramer (Injection)

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or trouble with breathing.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Severe pain, redness, swelling, itching, or lump where the shot is given.
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth or lips.
  • Swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin.
  • Trouble with swallowing.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Discoloration of the skin.
  • Double vision or changes in vision.
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Mild pain, redness, swelling, itching, or lump where the shot is given.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Rash or itching.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Sweating.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Introduction

Glatiramer (gla-TIR-a-mer)

Reduces the frequency of flare-ups (relapses) in patients who have relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RMMS).

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Brand Name(s)

Copaxone

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to glatiramer or mannitol.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • You may also store glatiramer injection at room temperature for up to one month. Avoid exposing this medicine to bright or intense light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an infection.
  • Some patients may have a reaction a few minutes after receiving a shot. This reaction may include flushing, a fast or pounding heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, a tight feeling in the throat, or hives. The reaction usually lasts a few minutes and goes away without treatment. If the reaction gets severe or does not go away, call your doctor right away. This reaction can happen even if you have used the medicine regularly for several months. Also, chest pain can occur by itself, but should not last more than a few minutes.
  • This medicine may cause a permanent depression under the skin at the injection site. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects at the injection site: depressed or indented skin; blue-green to black skin discoloration; or pain, redness, or sloughing (peeling) of the skin.
  • Avoid people who are sick or have infections.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without first checking with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
Review Date: March 4, 2014
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
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