Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: April 2023

Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate) is approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults, including:1

  • Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)
  • Relapsing-remitting MS
  • Active secondary progressive MS

What are the ingredients in Copaxone?

The active ingredient in Copaxone is glatiramer acetate.1

How does Copaxone work?

The way Copaxone works is not well understood. It is thought that glatiramer acetate may act by modifying immune processes that are believed to be responsible for the development of MS.1

What are the possible side effects of Copaxone?

Many clinical trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Copaxone. The most common side effects of Copaxone include:1

  • Flushing (redness to your cheeks or other parts of the body)
  • Injection site reactions, including redness, swelling, itching, and lumps
  • Rash
  • Fast heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash

Copaxone may also cause serious side effects, including:1

  • Immediate post-injection reactions, such as fast heart beat, anxiety, breathing problems, or hives
  • Chest pain
  • Damage to your skin
  • Liver problems, including liver failure

Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of serious side effects.1

These are not all the possible side effects of Copaxone. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Copaxone. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Copaxone.

Things to know about Copaxone

If you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol, you should not take Copaxone.1

Because Copaxone can change immune response, it may interfere with the way your immune system works. This can increase your risk of infection.1

There is not enough data to know if Copaxone is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding before starting Copaxone.1

You should receive your first dose of Copaxone with a doctor or nurse present. They will then show you how to give your own injections.1

Before beginning treatment for MS, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Copaxone.

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