What is Copaxone
is a combination of four amino acids (proteins). It is believed
to affect the immune system.
is used to decrease the frequency of relapses in patients
with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).
may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this
General medical information about Copaxone
Copaxone is injected subcutaneously (under the skin).
Your doctor or nurse will give you detailed instructions
on how and where to inject Copaxone. Do not administer an
injection if you are unsure how to properly do so, how much
to inject, or how often to inject the medication. Call your
doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to go over the instructions
What you should discuss with your doctor before using
Do not use Copaxone if you have an allergy to mannitol.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if
you have any other illness or if you take any other medicines.
You may not be able to take Copaxone, or you may require
a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
Copaxone is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This
means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn
baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to
your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant
It is not known whether Copaxone
passes into breast milk. Do not use this medication without
first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a
How should you use Copaxone Use Copaxone exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor,
nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.
is injected subcutaneously (under the skin). Your doctor
or nurse will give you detailed instructions on how and
where to inject Copaxone. Do not administer an injection
if you are unsure how to properly do so, how much to inject,
or how often to inject the medication. Call your doctor,
nurse, or pharmacist to go over the instructions with you.
Do not use any medication that is discolored or that
has particles in it.
A prefilled syringe package
should be allowed to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes
to allow the solution to warm up to room temperature. To
prevent the loss of medication, do not try to expel any
air that is in the prefilled syringe before injecting the
Wash and dry the hands before preparing
or administering an injection.
To reconstitute the
powdered form of Copaxone, add the diluent provided to the
powdered material using a syringe as directed. Gently swirl
the mixture and allow the solid material to completely dissolve
at room temperature. Use the mixture immediately after mixing.
The premixed or reconstituted medicine should be
injected into the skin of the thighs, back of the hips,
back of the upper arms, or abdomen (about 2 inches on either
side of the bellybutton). Rotate the injection site as directed.
Use each injection site only once every 7 days. Injections
should be administered at about the same time each day.
Do not change your dose or stop using this medication
without first talking to your doctor.
The vials and
prefilled syringes are designed for a single use only. Throw
away any unused medication after each injection.
Never reuse a needle or syringe. Dispose of all needles
and syringes in an appropriate, puncture-resistant disposal
Store the prefilled syringes and brown
vials of Copaxone in the refrigerator at 36 to 46 degrees
Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius). In extenuating circumstances,
when refrigeration may not be available, the product may
be allowed to reach room temperature, 59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit
(15 to 30 degrees Celsius) for up to one week. Avoid exposure
to higher temperatures or intense light. Store the clear
vials of the diluent (labeled "Sterile Water for Injection")
at room temperature.
If you miss a dose: Inject the missed dose as soon as you remember. However,
if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you
missed and use only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do
not inject a double dose of this medication unless otherwise
What happens if you overdose: Seek emergency medical attention.
of a Copaxone overdose are not known.
What should you avoid while using Copaxone There are no specific restrictions on food, beverages,
or activities during treatment with Copaxone. Follow any
special instructions given by your doctor.
Possible side effects of Copaxone Stop using Copaxone and seek emergency medical attention
or contact your doctor immediately if you experience an
allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the
throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; chest pain;
hives; skin rash with irritation; dizziness; sweating; or
severe pain at the injection site).
Other less serious
side effects may be more likely to occur. Notify your doctor
if you experience
- flushing, increased heart rate,
or anxiety shortly following an injection;
- weakness or joint
- swelling or fluid retention;
pain, inflammation, itching, or a lump at the injection
- nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
Side effects other than those
listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any
side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect Copaxone
is not known if other drugs interact with Copaxone. Talk to
your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription
or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.