Name: Copaxone (Glatiramer acetate)
Type: Subcutaneous (Under the skin) Injection
Approved For: Reducing the frequency of MS flare-ups (relapses) in patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS).
Reported Relapse Reduction Rate: 29% over 2 Years
Recommended Dosage: 20mg/Day
Needle Size: 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeter) length; 29 gauge
Schedule: Taken Once a Day
Injection Sites: Revolve everyday between under each arm, the stomach, each hip, and each thigh.
Injection device: An injection device known as the “autoject” is available for Copaxone pre-filled syringes. This spring loaded device allows you to load the syringe, set the depth, and inject with the press of a button.
Storage: Must be refrigerated until use. Can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days
Support Team: Shared Solutions – 1-800-887-8100 – Offers injection training, 24/7 support from MS certified nurses, Payment assistance programs, and hosts various events teaching about MS and connecting people who share the disease.
Smartphone App: (FREE) Copaxone iTracker
How Copaxone Works: “Glatiramer acetate is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic
protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers in the
brain and spinal cord. This drug seems to block myelin-damaging
T-cells through a mechanism that is not completely understood.” –National MS Society
Common Side Effects: injection site reactions (swelling, development of a hardened
lump, redness, tenderness, increased warmth of the skin, itching at the
site of the injection), chest pain, runny nose, tremor, unusual tiredness or
weakness, weight gain.
Copaxone is not associated with the flu-like symptoms that other treatments are.
This is not a complete list of side effects.
To Help Reduce Injection Site Reactions it is recommended that you heat the injection site with a heating pack for about 5 minutes before you inject and then ice the area with a cooling pack for about 5 minutes after you inject.
Many People Also Complain About “divots” or “indentations” in the skin where they inject. This is known as Lipoatrophy, it is pretty common and seems to be more likely to occur when the autoject device is used. This issue is listed under the safety information about Copaxone; “a permanent indentation under the skin at the injection site may occur, due to a local destruction of fat tissue. Be sure to follow proper injection technique and inform your doctor of any skin changes”