"Oct. 5, 2011 -- People with multiple sclerosis (MS) may soon have a second needle-free option to control their disease.
Last year, the FDA approved the first disease-modifying pill, a drug called Gilenya, to treat MS.
(glatiramer acetate) Injection
Glatiramer acetate, the active ingredient of COPAXONE, consists of the acetate salts of synthetic polypeptides, containing four naturally occurring amino acids: L-glutamic acid, L-alanine, L-tyrosine, and L-lysine with an average molar fraction of 0.141, 0.427, 0.095, and 0.338, respectively. The average molecular weight of glatiramer acetate is 5,000 – 9,000 daltons. Glatiramer acetate is identified by specific antibodies.
Chemically, glatiramer acetate is designated L-glutamic acid polymer with L-alanine, L-lysine and L-tyrosine, acetate (salt). Its structural formula is:
COPAXONE is a clear, colorless to slightly yellow, sterile, nonpyrogenic solution for subcutaneous injection. Each 1 mL of COPAXONE solution contains 20 mg or 40 mg of glatiramer acetate and the following inactive ingredient: 40 mg of mannitol. The pH of the solutions is approximately 5.5 to 7.0. The biological activity of glatiramer acetate is determined by its ability to block the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice.
What are the possible side effects of glatiramer (Copaxone)?
Some people receiving a glatiramer injection have had a severe reaction. 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; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using glatiramer and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side...
What are the precautions when taking glatiramer acetate (Copaxone)?
Before using glatiramer, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as mannitol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk....
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/28/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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